Monday, June 17, 2013

Port Authority Vision, Part 2: Regional Rail

To continue with the topic of a regional transit system, I have devised a vision for a comprehensive regional rail system linking Downtown Pittsburgh with several of its regional population and job centers such as Greensburg, Washington, New Castle, and several points in between.  I have this thought out in phases, with the first phase containing a link along the old Pennsylvania Railroad Main Line to Greensburg and along a B&O spur to Washington.  The second phase would link New Castle and Beaver with Pittsburgh as well as Washington via the Chartiers Valley.

I am devising an idea that would link Butler and portions of Armstrong County.  According to the Butler County Comprehensive Plan, they are trying to improve transportation access, particularly public transit, between Butler and the rapidly growing community of Cranberry.  A existing freight line runs from Pittsburgh through Mars and up to Butler, with a spur cutting off towards New Castle.

Having a regional rail network would be extremely beneficial for a region starting to show signs of growth.  It would provide regional connections with Pittsburgh and its suburbs and countryside.  These connections could in turn spur economic growth not just in the city of Pittsburgh but throughout the region.