Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (PA-04), alongside Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06), announce a $500,000 grant to the Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority (SRPRA) to connect Reading, Philadelphia, and New York via train with intermediate stops in Pottstown, Phoenixville, and Norristown, PA.

“Expanding our railways is one of the best ways we can spur growth and create economic opportunities for Pennsylvania residents,” said Rep. Dean. “Whether passengers use these new rail lines for their daily commute or for leisure, increased access to Philadelphia and New York – especially for the more rural areas of our community like Reading, Pottstown, and Phoenixville – is an investment in the people and communities that need it most.”

The project will restore and update existing railway tracks between Reading and Philadelphia that were last used for passenger travel in 1983. The trip between Philadelphia and New York will use current Northeast Corridor tracks. When complete, the rail line will offer four to eight daily round-trips.

This funding is a culmination of efforts by many, including the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation, Berks, Chester, and Montgomery Counties, as well as the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce, and is an important advancement of President Biden's Invest in America agenda.

“We are thrilled to hear that the Schuylkill River Passenger Rail project was selected into the Federal Rail Administration’s Corridor ID Program. Reestablishing passenger rail access from Reading to Philadelphia and beyond is a once in a generational economic development opportunity for this region,” said Jim Gerlach, President & CEO of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance. “A credit is due to the Berks Alliance for funding the study that showed this was feasible, to the Commissioners from Berks, Chester, and Montgomery County for leading in the creation of the SRPRA, to our state and federal legislative delegation members for their bipartisan support, and to all of the Authority members, staff, and community partners who have worked together to get us one step closer getting a train back on the tracks. This is an exciting day for Berks, Chester, and Montgomery counties.”

In addition to the funding for Montgomery and Berks County, Senator Bob Casey and Congressman Matt Cartwright (PA-08) secured funding for a direct passenger rail service between Scranton and New York City. Rail service previously ran on the Lackawanna Cut-Off directly between Scranton and New York, but was discontinued in 1970.

The entire Pennsylvania Congressional delegation is excited to see these investments in action – better connecting the northeast corridor and its people, economy, and futures.

Rep. Madeleine Dean is a mother, grandmother, attorney, professor, former four-term member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and U.S. Representative for the Fourth District of Pennsylvania.