• Lackawanna Cutoff Passenger Service Restoration

  • Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.
Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

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  by roc
The Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority (PNRRA) this week was awarded a $400,000 state grant for engineering services needed to continue track and structure construction for a passenger-rail restoration project.


The $400,000 is in addition to $300,000 in federal funding the PNRRA received from the Appalachian Regional Commission. That grant is being used to fund engineering costs as part of the next phase of construction.

https://www.progressiverailroading.com/ ... ect--57218
  by jrevans
roc wrote: Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:44 pm The Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority (PNRRA) this week was awarded a $400,000 state grant for engineering services needed to continue track and structure construction for a passenger-rail restoration project.
Thanks for sharing the update.

More "engineering services".... I guess it's better than nothing, and at least it hasn't been totally forgotten about.
  by TSTII
New Jersey Transit is now in the construction phase of the Lackawanna Cut-Off project between Port Morris and Andover, New Jersey.

Eh ?
  by nkloudon
They've been working on that for years. First the problem was that the ROW had become a "waterway" and required wetlands reparation (digging a swamp somewhere else). Then they discovered that a tunnel was a breeding area for bats. From my own inspection, the proposed station is out in the middle of the woods!
  by Steve F45
Beating a dead horse.

Does anyone remember who the agency was back 8 plus years ago that shelled out the money to have the 8 mile Andover segment built? Im searching but not finding anything. It was something like $40 million i thought. Was to pay for the track and station.
  by cjvrr

Probably the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority. (NJTPA). That agency is the clearinghouse for most funding in northern NJ
  by pateljones
Was it truly 8 years ago? If so, what is the difficulties in finishing the project? The 2 stations and tracks is easy to do I would think.
  by CJPat
It sounds like the difficulties revolve around several political/financial issues. Politically, there is not a large impetus to move it along. There has been a bit of an Environmental Pushback that has required permitting issues to be addressed, resolution of ownership and drainage rights, a lower to mid level interest (no high pressure screaming for service) to restore use by the populace, the escalating price tag which is a vicious cycle of delay-cost increase-delay. Basically, NJT has their own higher priorities to spend their cash on like the PTC mandate and the upgrades to rolling stock, and now the picking up of discussions regarding a new tunnel to relieve pressure on the existing Hudson tubes. Many places to spend money that they consider of much higher priority.

What makes this even more difficult is that the concept is to restore an interstate route by an agency that is dedicated to in-state ridership-not even looking at terminus in NYC (Port Jervis being an interesting exception). I would gather that NJT feels little concern to move a majority of PA ridership for ultimate goal of working in NYC (yes, we all realize that there are other stops to allow people to work in NJ as well, just not a lot of ridership being projected for it). NYC money to go to PA residents with only ticket money to NJ. There is obvious interest enough to move the rock a couple of yards at a time, but not enough upper management pressure or public demand to go for the Hail Mary.

For historical purposes, I would love them to restore the route, but it makes me a hypocrite since I am one of the many that feel's New Jersey needs to cut taxes (of course, my preference would be to slash the physical size of the government and make it more efficient to accomplish this) but NJ has grown far too complex for simple solutions anymore.
  by 93r8g7
In all likelyhood, NJT will not be running their dinky trains into Pennsylvania, as that would be SEPTA's territory. The line would be contracted out to another operator with the NJT logo, although operated by someone else, (much like the AC Line and the Newark, Hudson, and River Lines). Furthermore, there is not much an appetite in PA for NJT to operate service outside. Scranton wants "restored" rail service as was offered before NJT was even a thing. Had NJT been around back when Scranton's original passenger service existed, no one would elect to bring it back today, as NJT is essentially 100% incompetent. Hopefully it gets turned over to another more competent operator, so the people of Scranton can have a semi-reliable ride by a reputable agency, despite it being maybe only 3 or 4 trains a day in both directions and better served by buses.
  by Backshophoss
Service to Scranton by NJT would be on a contract basis like NJT with MN's WOH service.
Would be under PennDOT banner,not SEPTA's.
  by Roadgeek Adam
Dcell wrote: Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:12 am Scranton? Lol. The project to Andover is suspended indefinitely. No work has been done in years.
I would literally be happy with service to Blairstown and no further. Unfortunately NJ Transit believed in this WE NEED SCRANTON approach to justify it then the MOS is to Andover. Arguments could be made that Andover, Greendell and Blairstown would be a better branch than just Andover.

NJ Transit, however, is in no need to expand right now. Would expansion be great? Sure. The money isn't there. The capacity isn't there. The tunnels aren't there. The population isn't there. I know people are incredibly wanting of this service, but I'm not sure it would even be in my top 5 of expansion projects if the capacity existed. (West Trenton, MOM Lakehurst Branch, Northern Branch, some deal with the Susquehanna in terms of service would be the first 4 in terms of access to people.) Hell, I'd put money down to improve Lake Hopatcong station given NJ Transit has basically let it run to waste since the overpass came down in 1982. Besides Monmouth Park, I'd argue it's the worst station on NJ Transit right now in terms of design.

The priorities just aren't there for service to Scranton (or Andover or Blairstown or East Stroudsburg or any other terminus) and I feel NJ money should be going elsewhere. (I want to be an NJ taxpayer again, so don't think I'm an out of stater trying to spend other's money.)
  by Gilbert B Norman
Mr. Sullivan, way WAAY back within this epic, I noted that NJ is not about to fund transportation for workers choosing to reside in PA and work.in NY.

What's in it for NJ? the farebox?

In order for a mass transit project to pass the 'smell test" , i.e. get funded, there need be enough benefit to the folk who line up at the Firehouse in early November, who will buy houses and pay taxes on them, and who will buy tangible goods at retail (services? maybe) and pay taxes arising from those transactions.

That is how mass transit gets funded - expectation of public benefit. Unfortunately, at this time on that, Sussex County smells more like the Brown stuff in the stables than it does from sweet stuff in the garden!
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