Scranton to New York Rail Line

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has included Northeastern Pennsylvania in its Corridor Identification and Development (Corridor ID) Program to reestablish direct passenger rail service between Scranton, Pa., and New York, NY. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) established the Corridor ID program. According to a study by Amtrak released in March 2023, direct rail service between Scranton and New York would generate as much as $84 million of economic activity per year.

The study also revealed that the corridor will include new stations at Scranton, Mount Pocono, East Stroudsburg, Blairstown, Dover, Morristown, and Newark. The corridor already includes trains at the Delaware Water Gap, Andover, Port Morris, and Denville, and there is an existing station at New York.

Passenger rail service in and out of Scranton was discontinued in 1970, only one year before Amtrak was created. The track had fallen into disrepair and requires significant investment to restore train service. However, the study conducted by Amtrak and the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority (PNRRA) reveals that the infrastructure costs to upgrade the track to accommodate passenger trains along 60 route miles owned by PNRRA between Scranton and the Delaware Water Gap would be relatively low.

Scranton to New York Rail Line

The study also estimates that the direct rail service between Scranton and New York would transport an estimated 470,000 riders per year. The route’s outlined vision plan includes three roundtrips per day with an automobile competitive travel time of approximately two hours and 50 minutes between New York and Scranton. Trains would travel at a maximum speed of up to 110 mph (on the Lackawanna Cutoff segment).

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The restoration of passenger rail service between Scranton and New York would be a significant boost to the economy of Northeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and the broader Northeast region. It would also provide a convenient and affordable mode of transportation for residents of Scranton and Northeastern Pennsylvania.

In conclusion, the inclusion of Northeastern Pennsylvania in the Corridor ID program is a significant step towards restoring direct passenger rail service between Scranton and New York. The study conducted by Amtrak and PNRRA reveals that the direct rail service would generate significant economic activity and transport a large number of riders per year. The restoration of passenger rail service would be a significant boost to the economy of Northeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and the broader Northeast region.

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