Aug. 05, 2019

ALTOONA – Blair County will play host to a House Transportation Committee public hearing later this month, Rep. Lou Schmitt (R-Blair), a member of the committee and the chairman of the Subcommittee on Railroads, announced today. The hearing is slated to be held at the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum, 1200 9th Ave. in Altoona, on Wednesday, Aug. 28, at 3 p.m. The Transportation Committee is also scheduled to tour the Norfolk Southern Railroad’s Juniata shops in Altoona on Thursday, Aug. 29.

“As a first-term legislator, I am honored this hearing on transportation will be held in the 79th District. This hearing highlights the importance of railroads, both for passenger service and the moving of goods, in Pennsylvania,” Schmitt said. “I look forward to a productive hearing to give various organizations the chance to explain how rail is an important aspect of our economy and local community.”

During the hearing, experts are expected to discuss the potential for freight and passenger rail service in western Pennsylvania, and particularly, in Blair County. A representative from Norfolk Southern, which has a long history of being part of the Altoona community, is to talk about initiatives to improve its freight rail services. The group Western Pennsylvanians for Passenger Rail is to have representatives on hand to discuss enhanced passenger rail service.

“If we can improve passenger service in western Pennsylvania, communities across the board would benefit,” Schmitt said. “Imagine increased rail service between Pittsburgh and Altoona. Folks could conveniently take the train into Pittsburgh for work, or to attend sporting and cultural events from their homes in any number of the smaller communities along the line. This would improve not only the economic prospects of these smaller communities, but also the quality of life of the Pennsylvanians who live there.”

For more information on Schmitt and his legislative priorities, please visit or

Representative Lou Schmitt
79th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Greg Gross
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