A westbound Keystone Service train at Ardmore, PA
|Service type||higher-speed rail|
1,466,504 total (FY13)
|Start||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or New York City, New York|
|Distance travelled||195 miles (314 km)|
|Average journey time||3 hours 50 mins (New-York-Harrisburg), 1 hour 45 min (Philadelphia-Harrisburg)|
|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
|Seating arrangements||Unreserved Coach Seating (Philadelphia-Harrisburg), Reserved Coach Seating (New-York-Philadelphia)|
|Rolling stock||AEM-7 or ACS-64, 5 Amfleet Coaches (last
one is an ex-Metroliner cab car)
|Electrification||AC Overhead Catenary at 12 kV, 25 Hz|
|Operating speed||Up to 125 miles per hour (201 km/h)|
Amtrak's 195-mile (314 km) Keystone Service provides frequent higher speed passenger train service along the Amtrak-owned Keystone Corridor between the Harrisburg Transportation Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. Some trains continue along the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and terminate at Pennsylvania Station in New York.
It is Amtrak's fifth-busiest route, and the railroad's third-busiest in the NEC. In fiscal year 2013, the service carried 1.47 million passengers, an increase of 3.2% over FY2012. Total revenue in FY2013 was $29,366,992, an increase of 7.5% over FY2012.
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. However, there is a quiet car on all trains, and free Wi-Fi service is offered.
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.
Grade crossing elimination
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). The last two such at-grade crossings on the line, located just east of Mount Joy, were closed on September 24, 2014. They were replaced with a bridge connecting to a nearby street.
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.
The Amtrak Cities Sprinter will replace the existing AEM-7 locomotives as deliveries continue in 2014 and 2015. The new locomotives can operate up to 125 miles per hour (201 km/h) on the Northeast Corridor. 125 mph operations are now allowed on the line as the at-grade separations are eliminated. The Keystone Service will continue operate in push-pull service with ex-Metroliner cab cars.
The Keystone Service operates over Amtrak trackage:
- Amtrak Philadelphia to Harrisburg Main Line, Harrisburg to Philadelphia
- Amtrak Northeast Corridor, Philadelphia to New York
- "AMTRAK SETS RIDERSHIP RECORD AND MOVES THE NATION’S ECONOMY FORWARD" (PDF) (Press release). Amtrak. 14 October 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- "Keystone Corridor East High Speed Phase II". planthekeystone.com. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
- Hainthaler, Joe (23 September 2014). "Two roads carrying traffic south from Route 230 in Mount Joy to close Wednesday". Lancaster Online. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- "NEW AMTRAK LOCOMOTIVES READY FOR SERVICE AND SET TO POWER NORTHEAST ECONOMY" (PDF) (Press release). Amtrak. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- "New PennDOT bridge could mean faster trains on tracks below". Lancaster Online. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
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