Over the past 15 years, there have been several studies examining the potential for increased passenger rail service west of Harrisburg. These studies have varied from extending the existing Keystone Service to Pittsburgh, to implementing commuter rail service between Pittsburgh and Latrobe, to adding another daily Pennsylvanian train. The previous studies along the Altoona–Pittsburgh corridor indicated that there is continued interest in expanded passenger rail service. The 2019 Altoona–Pittsburgh Passenger Rail Study was an effort by PennDOT to explore the feasibility of additional passenger rail service, in particular, commuter service on the 117-mile corridor between Altoona, PA, and Pittsburgh, PA.

The study identified capital cost estimates ranging from $1.2 billion to $3.7 billion (with the addition of a third track) to support passenger rail start-up service for a forecasted 531 to 840 daily one-way riders. The capital cost estimates do not include right-of-way acquisition, environmental remediation, or Norfolk-Southern-related costs for access or liability.

Altoona–Pittsburgh Passenger Rail Study Final Report (5MB pdf)