New study on Scranton - NYC rail

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Pere Flyer

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Looks like an easy opportunity for Biden to lock down his home-ish state by supporting the effort?
 

jis

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The question of relevance is "Who is going to bell the NJTransit cat?" Afterall, someone has to take responsibility for rebuilding the Lackawanna Cutoff in NJ and actually make it happen in a timely manner. And while at it, who is going to shoot the NJ Sierra Club which has been opposing the restoration of rail service on the Lackawanna Cutoff, since presumably those SUV environmentalists love to sit in I-80 traffic jams in their SUVs.
 

Palmland

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One of our sons just moved to Stroudsburg, PA, just west of Delaware Water Gap and Slateford. So we now get to ‘enjoy’ I-80. The D-L RR still operates from Scranton to Slateford Jct. and NS connection so filling in this gap seems like a no brainer. But without national rather than state funding, I’m sure NJ will be reluctant to invest in something that primarily benefits PA. This is really why we have Amtrak, but good luck with them investing.
 
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Mailliw

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I think Scranton's best chance for passenger service is piggybacking in a Southern Tier corridor on the Empire Service.
 
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neroden

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I think Scranton's best chance for passenger service is piggybacking in a Southern Tier corridor on the Empire Service.
Routewise, the Southern Tier (Binghamton, Owego, Elmira, Corning, etc) wants a route to NYC through Scranton (much faster than via Port Jervis).
 
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dlagrua

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Working tracks on the Lackawanna cutoff line exist in NJ within 21 miles of the cutoff. The ROW is clear and owned by NJT. On the PA side the tracks are already in place. Shouldn't take that much to complete but its been going at a snails pace for years and I should add NJT has no plans to restore the final 21 miles or the Roseville Tunnel.
 
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jis

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Here is a pretty good writeup n Wikipedia of the sordid saga of the NJ Lackawanna Cutoff:


In 10 years since the inception of the Port Morris - Andover restoration project covering all of 7.3 miles of single track and one station, NJT has managed to lay 4.25 miles of track in three disconnected segments, thus probably becoming eligible for listing in the Guinness Book of World Records for longest foot dragging on a fully funded and approved project.
 
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Siegmund

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For the benefit of us Westerners who have no idea what has been scrapped in the last 50 years (with a few exceptions like knowing the Lackawanna Cutoff has right of way but no rails)...

Can anyone give a short summary of what the realistic options would be, if a person wanted to run from NY to Buffalo, via any of Scranton, Allentown, Reading, Binghamton, on rails that still exist today?
 

jis

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Here is an interesting video discussing the history of the trials and travails of restoring service on the Lackawanna Cutoff.


BTW, that person in the photo is Chuck Haytayan (R, NJ).
 

jis

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For the benefit of us Westerners who have no idea what has been scrapped in the last 50 years (with a few exceptions like knowing the Lackawanna Cutoff has right of way but no rails)...

Can anyone give a short summary of what the realistic options would be, if a person wanted to run from NY to Buffalo, via any of Scranton, Allentown, Reading, Binghamton, on rails that still exist today?
NYSDOT's plan for service to Binghamton from NY would use the following route:

NY Penn Station
Secaucus Jct. (Upper)
Secaucus Connection (from NEC to NJT Morris and Essex Line)
Newark Broad St. - Summit - Morristown - Dover - Lake Hopatcong - Port Morris - Andover (end of NJT ex-Lackawanna)
Anodever - Blairsetown - Paulin's Kill or Hainesburg Viaduct - Delaware Viaduct - Slateford Jct (Lackawanna Cutoff track to be restored ex-Lackawanna)
Slateford Jct. - Delaware Water Gap - Pocono Summit - Tobyhanna - Scranton (existing short line used by Steamtown in Scranton, ex-Lackawanna)
Scranton - Nicholson (Tunkhannock Viaduct) - Binghamton (Was D&H now NS ex-Lackawanna)
Binghamton - Buffalo (Southern Tier -ex Lackawanna IIRC)

There is no real option through Allentown or Reading if coming from NY. Coming from Philly the routing through them would not make much sense either lots of 10mph tracks before getting to Slateford IIRC . From Philly one would go on NS via Harrisburg, Wilkes-Barre onto Scranton to join the routing from New York.

The other alternative that was considered and rejected due to excessively slow transit time was the Erie Route, which at present is hard to get to from NYP. But from Hoboken it would go thusly:

Hoboken - Secaucus Jct (Lower) - Patterson - Suffern - Port Jervis - Deposit - Binghamton

All the track for this is in place and currently in use. You get to cross the Moodna and the Starucca Viaduct on this route.

The third alternative considered for getting from NYP to Binghamton was via Albany using the ex D&H now NS Schenectady - Oneonta - Binghamton line, all tracks in place, currently in use but even slower than the ex-Erie alternative dues to the significantly greater distance to be traversed, and also fewer new points served.
 
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neroden

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Senator Schumer has supported running NYP-Scranton-Binghamton, and from there Binghamton-Cortland-Syracuse.

The Binghamton-Cortland-Syracuse track is active under shortline ownership. Binghamton and Cortland platforms would be needed, along with some signal and track upgrades, but that's it for physical work north of Scranton.

Every analysis comes back to getting that track restored from Port Morris to the Delaware Water Gap over the Cutoff; the other possible routes are just too slow.
 
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