New Train Station Opens Near Campus


Christopher Palm

The new Amtrak Station in Middletown, PA

Every day, students, professors and staff of the Penn State Harrisburg community are greeted by a passing train as they travel in and out of campus.

This past month, Amtrak and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) welcomed a new train station in Middletown, just across the street from the main campus entrance and student housing.

“This is a transformational transportation project that not only serves the rail but the community and their efforts,” said Jennie Louwerse, Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation for PennDOT.

The new Middletown train station sits along the western side of Amtrak’s Keystone Corridor at its new home at the intersection of Emaus Street and West Main Street.

Amtrak’s Keystone Service trains make frequent stops at the new station during peak hours, with one train stopping every hour from either Harrisburg, Philadelphia, or New York City.

In attendance for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, alongside Deputy Secretary Louwerse, were State Representative Thomas L. Mehaffie III (R – Middletown Borough), Dauphin County Commissioners Mike Pries and Chad Saylor, and Tom Moritz of Amtrak.

Among the dignitaries from Penn State Harrisburg were chancellor Dr. John Mason Jr. and Student Government Association president Erick Vetovich.

“Our students come from 49 different states this year and over 50 countries around the world,” said chancellor Mason. “They don’t have to tell you what a train station like this [will do for the community], in connection with the roads, with the airport, and with the rail now.  It’s just going to be an exciting opportunity for all of us in this community.”

As America’s national rail operator, Amtrak currently covers 21,000 route miles in 46 states and the District of Columbia, operating more than 300 trains daily to more than 500 cities and towns.

Amtrak operates the Keystone Corridor with state-funded support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Only one Amtrak service route, the Pennsylvanian, does not stop at Middletown on its continuous journey to either Pittsburgh or New York.

Plans for the new station were years in the making as the Keystone Corridor was looking to upgrade its stations along the rail line.

Before the new station came to be, an old warehouse was situated next to the rail line with freight trains and passenger trains passing by to and from Harrisburg.

10 to 15 years later, it has become more thanks to Amtrak, PennDOT, and the Middletown community.

“What this is going to do for our college, and all this new housing that went in for students, is bringing people from all over the commonwealth and the country,” said representative Mehaffie, “and they can do the things that they need to do right here in the southern part of Dauphin County.”