Keystone Service

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Keystone Service
Keystone Service at Ardmore, PA (MP 9.22).jpg
Westbound Keystone Service at Ardmore, PA
Service type higher speed rail
Current operator(s) Amtrak
Ridership 3,892 daily
1,420,392 total (FY12)[1]
Start New York City, New York
Stops 19
End Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Distance travelled 195 miles (314 km)
Average journey time 3 hours 50 mins
Service frequency 13 trains per direction daily
Train number(s) 600-601, 605, 607, 609-612, 615, 618-620,
622, 637, 640-656, 658, 660-672
On-board services
Class(es) Standard Class
Seating arrangements Unreserved Coach Seating
Rolling stock AEM-7 , 5 Amfleet Coaches (last
one is an ex-Metroliner cab car)
Electrification AC Overhead Catenary at 12 kV, 25 Hz
Operating speed Up to 110 miles per hour (180 km/h)

Amtrak's 195-mile (314 km) Keystone Service provides frequent higher speed passenger train service along the Amtrak-owned Keystone Corridor and Northeast Corridor (NEC) between the Harrisburg Transportation Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Station in New York via 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. It is Amtrak's fifth-busiest route, and the railroad's third-busiest in the NEC.[2] In fiscal year 2011, the service carried over 1.3 million passengers, an increase of 3.5% over FY2010. In FY12 it carried 1.42 million passengers, 5.8% more than FY11. Total revenue in FY2011 was $29,366,992, an increase of 5.9% over FY2010. In FY12 total revenue was $32,970,951, an increase of 12.3% over FY11.[2]


The trains consist of unreserved coaches between Harrisburg and Philadelphia and reserved coaches between Philadelphia and New York. There is no business class or snack/food service.

On weekdays there are thirteen Keystone trains and one Pennsylvanian train in each direction. All trains run between Harrisburg and Philadelphia, though only nine of the Keystone trains plus the Pennsylvanian operate along the segment between Philadelphia and New York. There are eight round-trip trains on both Saturdays and Sundays. Seven of the Saturday and Sunday trains, including the Pennsylvanian, make the full trip between Harrisburg and New York. On the majority of the trains, the journey between Harrisburg and New York takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes, including 1 hour and 45 minutes to travel between Harrisburg and Philadelphia. There are also several express trains which cut both journey times by approximately 15 minutes.

Rolling stock[edit]

As a result of signal, track, and catenary upgrades that were completed in October 2006, Amtrak now exclusively uses EMD AEM-7 electric locomotives in push-pull configuration with rebuilt Metroliner cab cars for their Keystone service. Previously, a complicated engine switch was needed at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station that required about twenty minutes to perform. The trains can reach a top speed of 110 mph (180 km/h) along the Keystone Corridor, a significant improvement in speed from the previous service. The improvements in infrastructure and service are a result of a $145 million investment and partnership between Amtrak, the Federal Transit Administration, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to bring higher-speed rail to southeastern Pennsylvania.

In May 2013, Amtrak received the first unit of the new Amtrak Cities Sprinter. The new locomotives are expected to be in service in the fall of 2013 and will eventually replace EMD AEM-7 locomotives. The Amtrak Cities Sprinter locomotives can operate up to 125 miles per hour (201 km/h) but will be restricted to 110 miles per hour (180 km/h) for the Keystone Service, and will have the ex-Metroliner cab car on the end (as it still is with original Keystone trains), which will allow the ACS-64 Cities Sprinter to operate in push-pull service.[3]

Corridor improvements[edit]

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation undertook a plan to improve the Philadelphia to Harrisburg Main Line with a goal to develop a sealed corridor to eliminate public at-grade crossings such that the trains can operate at maximum speeds of 125 miles per hour (201 km/h).[4]

Route details[edit]

The Keystone Service operates over Amtrak trackage:

Amtrak Keystone Service (interactive map)


  1. ^ "Amtrak Ridership Rolls Up Best-Ever Records" (PDF). Amtrak. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Amtrak Ridership Rolls Up Best-Ever Records" (PDF). Amtrak. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  3. ^ Barrow, Keith (13 May 2013). "Siemens unveils first Amtrak Cities Sprinter". International Railway Journal. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Keystone Corridor East High Speed Phase II". Retrieved 20 July 2013. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing