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The Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority (SRPRA) oversees and implements the restoration of passenger rail service between Reading and Philadelphia and is supported with equal representation and funding from Berks, Chester, and Montgomery Counties. The SRPRA has the power to formalize agreements, pursue funding opportunities and partner with rail operators and state and federal transportation agencies.
The creation of the SRPRA is not a guarantee that passenger rail will return, but it is a crucial next step to continue the long process of research and planning. Commissioners from each County noted that while there had been talk of restoring passenger rail service before, this is the first time any type of initiative has gotten this far. County leaders are also optimistic that this effort will be successful due to the potential funding available through the federal bipartisan infrastructure bill.
View authority members and committees.
View the articles of incorporation.
View public outreach presentation.
Passenger rail service between Reading and Philadelphia has a long history dating back to the early 19th century. The first rail service between the two cities was established in 1838 by the Reading Railroad, which initially operated as a cargo carrier, primarily transporting coal from the mines in the anthracite region of Pennsylvania to the cities of Philadelphia, Reading and beyond. The Reading Railroad was one of the most important railroads in the country for transporting coal, and it was instrumental in the development of the region's economy. Learn more about the Reading Railroad.
There are various benefits for restoring rail service between Reading and Philadelphia, including increased mobility for travelers, reduced traffic congestion, lower transportation costs, improved air quality in the region, economic development opportunities, and equity and economic empowerment. Learn more about these advantages.
The Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority (SRPRA) was created to serve as the regional coordinating body between Berks, Chester, and Montgomery Counties, with equal representation from each county. Membership of the SRPRA can be found here.
The SRPRA oversees and approves the execution of necessary contracts, the selection of the service operators, and seeks out federal funding to support the passenger rail service.
The proposed route for the new passenger rail service will be from Reading to Philadelphia, with stops in Pottstown, Phoenixville, King of Prussia, and Norristown.
Source: AMTRAK's Vision For Improving Transportation Across America
Amtrak has publicly expressed interest in operating this service and included this in its 2035 plan. However, the SRPRA will be empowered to select the operator.
The operating cost for the first two years of the Authority is estimated to be under $700,000, with the three counties equally splitting the costs. The SRPRA will also be required to focus efforts on sourcing state and federal funding FIRST, and required to use funds from any of the counties LAST.
In addition to the passenger fare, the federal infrastructure bill passed in 2021 changed how Amtrak passenger rail is funded, with the majority of the first six years of non-fare operating expenses being covered by the federal government.
The impacts on all communities that will be served by a Reading to Philadelphia train line are immense. Over 30 years, this line is estimated to create economic and environmental benefits including:
Meetings are held virtually at 3:00pm on the following dates.
Register to join meeting via Zoom.