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Cartwright debuts passenger rail information page

An Amtrak logo is seen on one of the system's trains
File photo
An Amtrak logo is seen on one of the system's trains. U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright has introduced a new webpage to keep the community informed about plans for the restoration of rail service between Scranton and New York City.

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright has launched an online resource page to provide background information and updates about the proposed Scranton-New York City passenger train.

The page at cartwright.house.gov/railway/ includes background on the route, costs, funding and next steps. Three daily trains will run each way between Scranton and Penn Station in Manhattan, with seven stops in between. The line would carry an estimated 470,000 riders a year.

“My office has heard loud and clear that the community wants to know more about the return of passenger rail and to have access to updated project information,” the Lackawanna County Democrat said. “The comprehensive webpage will be updated regularly, detailing progress on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something transformational for the economy of Northeast Pennsylvania.”

The page also includes answers to frequently asked questions compiled by Cartwright's office and the Pocono Mountain Visitors Bureau.

Passenger rail service between Scranton and Hoboken, N.J., across the Hudson River from New York, ended on Jan. 5, 1970. Efforts to restore service took a major step forward in December, when the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) included the project in its Corridor ID Program.

Under the plan, there would be new Amtrak stops in Scranton, Mount Pocono and East Stroudsburg in Pennsylvania, and in New Jersey at Blairstown, Dover, Morristown, Montclair and Newark before heading into New York City.

The project would include restoration of about 21 miles of track along the Lackawanna Cutoff, a mountainous but straight right-of-way of the former Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, abandoned and sold off after passenger service ended. Built in the early 20th century, the cutoff earned its name by providing a faster, more direct route for trains than a previous line.

The rail resource page is one component of Cartwright's updated congressional website that launched this week.

For additional passenger rail updates, constituents can sign up for text notifications and an eNewsletter at Cartwright.House.gov, or email Rail.Info@Mail.House.Gov.

Roger DuPuis joins WVIA News from the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader. His 24 years of experience in journalism, as both a reporter and editor, included several years at The Scranton Times-Tribune. His beat assignments have ranged from breaking news, local government and politics, to business, healthcare, and transportation. He has a lifelong interest in urban transit, particularly light rail, and authored a book about Philadelphia's trolley system.

You can email Roger at rogerdupuis@wvia.org
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