• Amtrak Proposes Adding New Service to Scranton

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

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  by Alcochaser
Honestly. I think the quickest way is the one no one considered, and I only stumbled upon eliminating all the possibilities.

That would be using the NEC from NYP to Phila. Changing to diesel here and running to Harrisburg on the Keystone. Then you run on the NS route to Scranton from there.

This of course uses Amtrak owned lines until you get to NS at Harrisburg. And doesn't involve NJT, something all other routes do.
  by Ridgefielder
photobug56 wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:42 pm Times and mileage Penn to Scranton? And what interest would NJT have in such a service?
Penn Station to Wilkes-Barre on the LV (via Bethlehem and Jim Thorpe) is 176 miles. In 1958 The Black Diamond was scheduled to leave NYC at 10:55 AM, arrive in Wilkes-Barre 3:20 PM. There was a 15min stop at Bethlehem to cut in the Philadelphia section.

Hoboken to Scranton on the Lackawanna is 134 miles. In 1960 the Phoebe Snow was scheduled to leave Hoboken at 10:35 AM, arrive Scranton 1:55 PM. The Hudson Tube (a/k/a PATH) connection from 33rd St. in Midtown left at 10:10 AM.

So head-to-head running time from Midtown to the Lackawanna Valley, 4:10 on the LV, 3:45 on the DL&W.

I have zero clue as to what the running time via Harrisburg would be. Not sure if such a service was operated by any road. Just looking at straight line distance on a map NY-Phil-H'burg-Scranton is 270 miles. It's horribly indirect- looks like a diagram of an aircraft holding pattern.
  by Alcochaser
It's actually an all PRR route to WB. But I don't think PRR ran passenger service that way after 1940, and when they did they did via a now defunct route.

It's 3hrs 30mins using an Electric with a 15 min stop in Phila to Harrisburg. Add on at least 3 to.. get to WB... and well too long.

I agree that the LV/CNJ route would a good option, But not likely.I don't know if you can get RBMN and Andy to play ball, and this is another Guilford situation if you can't. Also remember that the LV dumps you in Wilkes Berre. To run to Scranton via this route is about 20 miles over the NS route.

"Reading and Northern continues to believe that it is improper and illegal for government owned rail authorities to compete against privately owned companies in handling rail freight business," said Andy Muller Jr., owner and chief executive officer of RBMN, in a press release."

https://www.progressiverailroading.com/ ... ity--60953

And like I said, if Andy won't play ball. You can then get from the ex D&LW route from the ex LV route using the 22 mile Portland Secondary.

This would involve using the NS mainline to Philipsburg NJ, Then running north over the Portland Secondary to the Delaware Water gap. Where the completely intact D&LW route gets you directly into Scranton.
Last edited by Alcochaser on Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by Alcochaser
Like I said, you all seem to have forgotten that the DL&W main in PA never got removed, doesn't need restoration like the NJ portion.

It needs a few upgrades, but nothing to the tune of the NJ portion, as it hosts daily trains. And has an eastern connection.
back way onto the DL&W.jpg
Look at this map.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
  by photobug56
Let me rephrase. How much faster or slower, more or less mileage would your routing be versus the rebuilt Cutoff be? Would it be viable for commuting to Scranton and the Poconos? Would it it work for people going to the ski resorts? People commuting to Western New Jersey?
  by Alcochaser
photobug56 wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:06 pm Let me rephrase. How much faster or slower, more or less mileage would your routing be versus the rebuilt Cutoff be? Would it be viable for commuting to Scranton and the Poconos? Would it it work for people going to the ski resorts? People commuting to Western New Jersey?
Well here is the great part of this.
My routing uses the western part of the "Cutoff Line"

Here is the map of the route of the "Cutoff Line"
My routing uses the "Cut off" from Delaware Water Gap to Scranton.

Yes it would be a little slower and longer then using the entire cutoff line. But my routing goes around the "Abandoned section" in the middle. By doing this, you get the existent west end rolling.

I would guesstimate that once track upgrades are done, you loose maybe 45 minutes.

Yes track upgrades are needed, but not as much as you might think. The line is Class 2 track, but only to ease inspection needs. DL maintains this route to physical Class 3 standards. By listing the line as Class 2, you cut down on the times per week you have to send your track guys over it in a Hi Rail.. And 25mph is enough for their freights. Plus a lot of the line has welded rail already.

I really get irritated when people who speak about the cutoff restoration and point to the PA part, forget that it's active and being used, and is in good shape. A lot better shape then the part (only in NJ mind you) that is totally missing. They go on and on on how NJT wont pay to restore it all the way to Scranton. Well they won't, and Don't need to. The part in PA is just fine and darn near ready to use. NJT just needs to get it's short part done..

You can see the condition of the line for yourself. Thanks to the super distinctive power on the line, there are as many videos of the line as there are of Amtrak trains on the NEC, and that's not a joke.

The line hosts passenger trains today. Steamtown excursions.
  by rcthompson04
Your idea makes a lot of sense if you are trying to get to the Lehigh Valley as well. There can be duplication of efforts to Philipsburg.
  by Matt Johnson
The abandoned section is the good section - the part with so much unused potential!

  by Maverickstation1
As many have stated the proposals to restore service on the line go way back. In fact one of the last trains to operate on the NJ portion of the cutoff was an Amtrak inspection train in the late 1970's.

Here is an article from 2016.

https://www.poconorecord.com/article/20 ... /160519600

and 2004

https://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/11/nyre ... d-ink.html

  by Gilbert B Norman
Mr. Maverick, there was a second article in The Times followimg the one you immediately note:

https://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/12/nyre ... llets.html

I posted both articles at the Cutoff "epic" over at the NJT Forum.

Seventeen years, I can only reiterate the thought how people totally unqualified to own a home were duped with "liar loans" to move some 80 miles away from their low-paying jobs in New York. Of course, what these 2004 articles did not foresee was the collapse in home prices and the loss of jobs caused by the '08 Great Recession.
  by TurningOfTheWheel
Bit of a bump here, but if Amtrak were to go forward with restoring the Cutoff (which I'd like to think is the preferred option), it would then seem fairly straightforward to extend the route all the way up to Binghamton. Straighten some curves here and there--which, granted, could become quite expensive rather quickly given the topography of the area--and you have an alignment that could run trains at 80+ mph for most of the route. As others have pointed out, the former Erie & Lackawanna route is in good shape and sees regular service as is, so it's a fairly ideal routing and about as close to a straight-line route as you'll get given the 60 miles of mountain you're trudging through.
  by photobug56
Or NJT does to Scranton, Amtrak improves it and extends it to Binghamton to the North, and perhaps South to Philly...
  by TurningOfTheWheel
Consider also the PHL-Reading project. Combining these proposals opens up the future possibility of HAR-Reading-Scranton. As you suggest, you can then run through trains all the way from Binghamton to PHL or PGH, or at the very least offer timely connections via the Keystone/Pennsylvanian.
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