Ciresi highlights completion of PennDOT study on Reading-Philadelphia rail service

ROYERSFORD, Jan. 7 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, continues cooperative work with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, stakeholders and other local legislators and leaders to restore passenger rail service from Berks, western Montgomery, and northern Chester counties to Philadelphia. 

Today, Ciresi highlights the recent release of a PennDOT study on potential costs, operations and feasibility of a Reading-to-Philadelphia passenger rail service. The study also determines next steps that would be necessary for the project to advance.

“The completion of this study from PennDOT is a crucial step toward the ultimate goal of re-establishing passenger service from Reading to Philly for the first time since the early 1980s,” Ciresi said. “A major takeaway from this analysis is the cost for rebuilding service with stations in Valley Forge, Phoenixville, Royersford, Pottstown and Birdsboro is significantly lower than other proposals, including a much shorter line from King of Prussia to Philadelphia or the previous Schuylkill Valley Metro project. I’m confident that this project is not only necessary, but very feasible.” 

Ciresi has long been a proponent of returning rail service to Berks and western Montgomery counties. Passenger rail service operated from Philadelphia to Reading starting in the mid-1800s and lasting until its suspension in 1981 during SEPTA’s transition to an all-electric network. 

There have been numerous studies since to assess the feasibility of reintroducing passenger service along this corridor, and Ciresi is hopeful and determined that this will project will become reality. 

“There are so many people in Reading, Pottstown, Phoenixville, Royersford and various communities along this corridor who would benefit from the return of rail service into and out of Philadelphia,” he said. “The study by PennDOT highlights a cost analysis I believe makes total sense to continue work toward making this happen.” 

More information about the study is available by contacting Ciresi’s office by phone at 484-200-8265 or by email through