Better route north
The news story “T expansion could take tracks to the North Hills, cost estimate over $1 billion” (March 24 and TribLIVE.com) discussed following a route that would parallel I-279 and I -79 and cost megadollars. I would like to suggest another route that might make the project feasible.
There is an active train route that crosses the Allegheny River at Washington's Landing, roughly parallels Route 8, goes close to North Park and passes through Mars, which is not far east of Cranberry. This line used to be owned by the B&O, which also had a right-of-way along the Allegheny River and what is now Washington's Landing. There are two ways that this could work:
• Perhaps Allegheny Valley Railroad would be willing to have commuter trains run on its tracks.
• Otherwise, there may be enough space along the right-of-way for another set of tracks.
The point is that following this route would serve the same people and would involve a lot less purchasing of land, moving of dirt and other construction work. The cost should be a lot closer to what federal, state and local governments can spend at this time.
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