Lewistown, Pennsylvania, sits halfway between State College and Harrisburg, nestled in the Seven Mountains. To get to Lewistown, you can drive in on Route 322, a twisty, turny, two-lane highway, where the speed limit for trucks is 20 miles per hour.
Or, you can take Amtrak and enjoy old-timey Lewistown Station, the first building built by the Pennsylvania Railroad, back in 1849. Today, it's a one-room waiting area staffed by volunteers who sell sodas out of a mini-fridge and Pennsylvania Railroad memorabilia off the walls.
Bob Billett is one of those volunteers. If his Amtrak t-shirt and Amtrak baseball hat don't send a clear enough message, Billett proudly calls himself a "railfan," someone who watches and studies trains for fun. One of his unofficial duties as a volunteer is sharing that history with waiting passengers.
"I tell people back in the day of the Pennsylvania Railroad, at one point, they had 40 passenger trains a day through here," said Billett over the crackle of the scanner. "People don't believe that, but it's true."
Keystone Crossroads is a statewide public media initiative reporting on the challenges facing Pennsylvania's cities. WPSU is a participating station.