King of Prussia is a regional employment hub and home to the country's largest mall. Now SEPTA is laying the groundwork for connecting it to the region's high-speed rail network.

The lack of a direct route by public transit means that Sean O'Rourke must drive to his job at Bergman Associates in King of Prussia each day from South Philadelphia. The trip takes him along the Schuylkill Expressway.

If there's a Phillies game or an accident, the ride home can take more than two hours.

"I just think that this extension, it should have happened a long, long time ago," says O'Rourke.

King of Prussia is just three tantalizing miles beyond the regional rail line reaching in its direction. The line trails off in Norristown, short of the three tantalizing miles through existing highways and relatively dense suburban neighborhoods.

SEPTA is unveiling a range of possible routes that it may consider researching further, but the proposal's only the first of many steps.

More than 20 percent of employees at the King of Prussia Mall use public transit, according to mall general manager Bob Hart. Most take the bus, or take the train to a bus.

A rail spur directly into the shopping mecca would "just make it more convenient for both employees and customers to access."

The area recently added a new shuttle bus service, "theconnector," that runs between the King of Prussia business park and nearby rail stations.