Lackawanna Cutoff Passenger Service Restoration

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Lackawanna Cutoff Passenger Service Restoration

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Apr 06, 2004 9:22 am

From other boards, I have learned that there are new "rumblings" regarding this off discussed project of restoring the cut off as part of a plan to restore Hoboken-Scranton passenger service (which agency, NJT, SEPTA, another PA agency, Amtrak, I know not).

Is there anything new of substance here, or did some newspaper reporter simply "stumble" on the story because of the outstanding playing abilities that two brothers that attended Blair Academy showed during the NCAA Tournament?
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Postby Jtgshu » Tue Apr 06, 2004 10:12 am

Well, actually a little bit. "unofficialy" its referred to as the Lackawanna cut off, or simply the "cut off". There are several threads in the NJ Railfan forum discussing the topic, along with links to some pics of the present day condition of the ROW.

The latest info is that there supposedly is Federal funding for the start of construction/design/whatever in this years Transit bill floating around in Congress (along with the MOM project). This is good news, and maybe things will actually start rolling sometime soon.

As far as I know, NJT and the state of PA have not decided and come to an operating agreement, how much PA will pay towards operations, infrastructure, etc, will the trains be NJT with PA DOT funding....will it be a joint Septa/NJT operation (a la NJT and MNRR on the Southern Tier).

all these things still have to apparently be worked out. Check out the NJRailfan forum, and there is good info in there on the Cut off
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Postby EDM5970 » Tue Apr 06, 2004 11:16 am

I personally don't see SEPTA getting involved. If I recall correctly, SEPTA is an organization of the five (?) counties that surround Philly, and Philly itself. The SEPTA board members are listed as being the members from each of the counties and the city.

I see Monroe and Northampton Counties, or some new agency (a brand-new "NEPTA", NorthEast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority?) as a possible partner for NJT rail.

SEPTA has its own problems, and is too far away. They also just backed down from a project that would provide service to Reading, and I can't see them taking on another big project at this time.
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Blasphemy, I know

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Apr 06, 2004 12:32 pm

I realize that mention of the "A word" around here is blasphemy, but it nevertheless represents an interstate rail passenger agency with ready to go expertise in operating a train.

In short, is there a need to go form a new agency where there already is one in existence?
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Postby EDM5970 » Tue Apr 06, 2004 1:00 pm

Actually, Lackawanna County (Scranton) has a rail agency. (I now realize that I may have scrambled some of the county names. I need to look at a map, but I think Stroudsburg is in Monroe. )

I'm not sure of the exact name, but they (Lackawanna County) own the old DL&W main that Steamtown and Delaware Lackawanna operate on. But some sort of agency is in place, for at least part of the PA side.

Also NS either owns or controls the track between Stroudsburg and through the Water Gap to Slateford Jundtion, where the bridge is.

Now whether the counties would want to operate the PA side of the line and contribute to the equipment pool, or just contract it out to NJT, is another story. I'd like to see something happen, though, as I grew up in that part of NJ.
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Postby Irish Chieftain » Tue Apr 06, 2004 1:04 pm

AFAIK, the former DL&W main line between Scranton and Analomink is under PennDOT control at present, in lieu of active control by whatever agency is in charge of the plan to restore rail service. The line south of Analomink through East Stroudsburg, Delaware Water Gap and Slateford is owned by NS, and it's back to PennDOT control going on to the Cutoff grade and bridge into NJ.
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Postby JoeG » Tue Apr 06, 2004 5:39 pm

The problem is that Warren County, NJ doesn't seem to want the cutoff reopened. Neither does Morris County--at least not enough to push for it. With the lack of political sponsorship in NJ, the cutoff will never get funded. Right now it seems that PA wants it much more than NJ, but of course PA isn't going to pay for a project in NJ. I think the cutoff would benefit Warren and Morris tremendously, but I'm not a voter there.
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Postby Irish Chieftain » Tue Apr 06, 2004 10:30 pm

Joe G wrote:Right now it seems that PA wants it much more than NJ, but of course PA isn't going to pay for a project in NJ
Some recent Pocono Record articles indicated that PA may be prepared to do just that, i.e. take up NJ's monetary slack. The only other obstacle after that would be an operating agreement…
Last edited by Irish Chieftain on Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby NJTRailfan » Wed Apr 07, 2004 12:10 am

Morris County in definantly pro cutoff. (R) State Sen Anthony Bucco and (R)Congressman Rodney Freelinghysen are for it and do their best to get as much $$$ as possible. Dover wants the cutoff since the Transit hub the want to build wil lhave enough parkign and shopping to make this town a destination point as it once was. I think the town wants to have soemthing like the crossings. Dover can do without the apartment complex but the 4 deck parking garage and retail space is a must.
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Postby njt4172 » Wed Apr 07, 2004 7:24 am

I have to agree with NJTRailfan for once! Morris County wants the Cutoff to be operational... I don't know about Bucco, but we all know for a fact that Congressman Rodney Frelinghysen and DOT man Frank Reilly are pushing extremely hard for this service. I am very ashamed that 11 of you voted that the Cutoff would NEVER happen!
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Postby msernak » Fri Apr 09, 2004 8:23 pm

Warren County and Morris County should not complain. The railbed is high up and should not interfere with anyone's personal life. The complainers should try driving on route 80 during rush hour sometime. I am sure the rail line was there before most residents so they should just suck it up.
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Postby Ken W2KB » Fri Apr 09, 2004 8:52 pm

The prime complaint of the Sussex County interests is not noise, safety, etc. They are opposed to the train as it is believed that with it will come sprawl. Easier access means more people will move there and more open land will be developed. It's that environment issue that is the prime mover behind the opposition. They like the fact that I-80 is congested since it discourages development.
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Postby drewh » Fri Apr 09, 2004 9:03 pm

PA may be prepared to do just that, i.e. take up NJ's monetary slack.


I can't see PA ever doing that. They wouldn't even pay for a station in Bucks county. NJT was willing to operate service from a PA station in the Morrisville yards if PA built the station - no operating subsidy at all. PA would not finance the station.

If PA wouldn't do it in that area where there are many many commuters to NY/NWK then what makes you think they would pay for infrastructure in NJ.
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Postby NJTRailfan » Sat Apr 10, 2004 12:56 am

Morris Count has 0 problem with the cutoff. The backward fools in Sussex County do. Reember this is the same county who were against the NYSW project and are now forcing their backwater standards on the rest of us. If the don't want the station then fine. But don't try telling NJT on what do do. When Mt Arlington P/R Station. electrification extension from Dover-PM Yard and electrification from Denville-Montclair comes up you will get very litttle or no complaints from people in this county but rather from the fools in the yuppie town of Montclair or the backwrd people in Sussex county if more service/reactivation takes place.

People in Montclair should be embarrassed esp when Dover and other points much further west get more service to NYP/Hoboken and weekend service in one day then they get in a week.
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Postby uzplayer » Sat Apr 10, 2004 2:14 am

There are people in Sussex County such as myself that are for all the rail alternatives proposed through Sussex County. I'm one of those people.

Right now, Sussex County is going through rapid development. Houses are starting to be built everywhere, and the county that once was considered a piece of nature is now full of townhouses, condos, and other developments. Add to that, the ski resorts which jam up the roads throughout the year with skiiers from South Jersey and New York City who get away for the weekends and are contributing to the deterioration of the roads and the area.

While resurrecting/rebuilding rail lines through Sussex County might bring more people to the area, it would still reduce traffic. People would have an alternative for going into the extreme metro area and/or New York City vs. driving x amount of miles to either Middletown or Mountain View station to catch a train, or driving to work; clogging up our streets and all. In addition, rail service might just kill most of the traffic in my area for the ski resorts, allowing me to pass through easier during the winter months.

I sometimes don't understand the people in Sussex County. But the truth is, it's a nice place to live. Eventually, the powers that be will come around and build rail links through the area to help ease all of the congestion. I just hope they dont wait until it costs us more money and more taxes to do it.
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