Reestablishing direct passenger rail service between Scranton and New York City now a priority
Reestablishing direct passenger rail service between Scranton and New York City is just a few stops away, U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey announced today.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has included the Lackawanna Cut-Off Route in its Corridor Identification and Development (Corridor ID) Program.
Acceptance into the program means the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority (PNRRA) and New Jersey Transit will receive funding from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to plan the train service and the railroad authorities will also be first in line to receive construction money.
The Corridor ID Program was established by IIJA to assist with the development of intercity passenger rail corridors. The law allocates $66 billion for improvements to national rail lines over the next five years. The FRA received around 28 applications for the program.
Both Cartwright and Casey have been steadfast advocates of restoring passenger rail service between Scranton and New York City, called the Lackawanna Cut-off Route.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg personally called Cartwright to deliver the news.
“We now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something transformational for the economy and quality of life in Northeast Pennsylvania," said Cartwright in a press release. "Connecting our region to major metropolitan areas in a seamless, passenger-friendly system will drive tourism, boost local business opportunities, and encourage investment across the district,”
The last train left the Electric City for Hoboken, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from the Big Apple, in January 1970.
According to a two-year study completed by Amtrak and PNRRA the project will generate significant annual economic benefits, including:
- $84 million in economic activity, including increased tourism.
- $20 million in benefits to passengers.
- $7 million in society benefits, including diverting travel from highways and reducing traffic, vehicle accidents and pollution.