Allow me to quote from my own column in a recent issue of the NYSW THS REFLECTOR, in which i cited an article on the project. Its dated from last year, and things may have changed, both politically and economically, but here's what i wrote in the magazine:
Officials in Bergen, Morris, Sussex, and Passaic counties first begain touting the return of passeneger service in late 1989 when the federal government funded a $225,000 study to identfy and address ways ways to relieve vehicular congestion on several commuter corridors. A $4 million contract was awarded in 1999 to a Morristown engineering firm for the preliminary designs of track upgrades, station locations, etc, with the intent of service staring in 2001.
Forward to the present day: One coprporate offical from Delaware Otsego, the NYSW Parent corporation, noted that the railroad and NJT had a handshake agreement a couple of years earlier. But government officals came back with an offer(to purchase the ROW outright)so low that it was easy to reject out of hand. In short, while the project is still on NJT's wish list, it almost certainly has dropped quite a ways down.
NJ Transit Executive Director George Warrington has stated that at the present(and this was in early 2003) the agency's immediate priorities involve improving the exsisting infrastructure, and is reevaluationg all new projects, including the NYSW plan.
Though the project hasn't officially beeen scrapped, it would seem that the project is back at square 1. The Federal government, for example, has taken back $17 million of the $47 million allocated for the project. Some area politicians, such as State Senator Robert Littell(R-Sussex) and Assemblyman Alex De Croce(R- Morris) say the project is still needed and hold out hope for eventual implementation. At the present(April 2004), the overall outlook isn't too promising.
Hope this answers some questions.......
I know I'm getting old... My insurance company sent me only half a calendar this year!