• 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 njtmnrrbuff
 
All the NJT needs to do is just get the train service running as far as the Stroudsburgs. From there to Scranton, the right of way is very twisty and curvy. The travel times to Scranton would take an extremely long time; in fact, a lot longer than driving or taking a bus to Scranton. It's not really worth spending the extra money to get it to Scranton unless if a brand new right of way that would eliminate as many of those 180 degree curves as possible. It's 46 miles from Scranton to East Stroudsburg so it's not like we are leaving a few miles off of the train route. The Stroudsburgs are like their own metropolitan area.
  by DutchRailnut
 
NJT will not run into PA unless PA ponies up.
  by JoeG
 
I suppose NJT will eventually finish the extension to Andover. How long will the commute from there east take? Will anyone except the occasional foamer ride?
When the broke Erie-Lackawanna sold a piece of the original Boonton line to NJ for the construction of I80, it doomed the Cutoff because there was no place for the freights to go once they traversed the magnificent Cutoff. Since then the M&E has become even more congested and there is apparently no way to run real expresses on it. Train times are much longer than they were in Lackawanna days. Very few people take the train from Port Jervis, and on this route NJT runs most trains express from Suffern to Secaucus. Many of these commuters work 12 hour shifts 3 days a week. Look at the timetable and see what your life would be with a 5 day a week commute from Port Jervis to NY or Hoboken.

Now consider what a commute would be like from further-away Scranton, with slower times from Dover to NY or Hoboken than in Lackawanna days.
This would only work as an Amtrak LD route, including food service because of its length (in time taken.)
Amtrak wouldn't do it without a massive subsidy from NJ and PA. Even then they might not. SEPTA is only authorized to run trains in 5 PA counties, not including those traversed by the Lackawanna to Scranton. So the PA legislature would have to change Septa's charter or create a new agency. NJT has enough trouble running trains in NJ. There are many complaints about its handling of service in NY to Spring Valley and Port Jervis. Would it do better handling service in PA?

Unfortunately the Cutoff is a nice piece of railroad whose usefulness has expired. You can learn all about it from Chuck Walsh's series of videos on YouTube, but the Cutoff has as much future in railroading as a revival of steam locomotives. Sad but true.
  by photobug56
 
NJ needs to get card off of I80. NJT's problem is in getting itself back after the Christie era. It still plans for the Scranton service. But no clue as to which century.
  by JoeG
 
I live in PA. There is never enough money for Septa. Local bus service around here has been cut for lack of funds.There is no way that PA will pay NJ for a railroad reconstruction in NJ. PA is extremely unlikely to pay for the resumption of service on the former Lackawanna in PA. They won't even pay for a second daily round trip between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. There has been talk of some kind of commuter service in western PA-maybe between Altoona and Pittsburgh. Again, no money.
  by Roadgeek Adam
 
photobug56 wrote: Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:59 pm PA is interested and has paid for studies. Also the counties.
Paying for studies is much different than paying for a multi-billion (I would presume given the amount of rehab work needed and extra tracks and stuff) extension of a railroad. This is a better project when in house in Jersey, even if the line ends up only going to Blairstown or Andover. I understand the need to get cars off 80, which is commonly congested. However, the result of this is the state is in a situation of "in retrospect, we shouldn't have been so aggressive in allowing cuts during the 1960s and 1980s and now we have to rebuild." Unfortunately it's one thing to inherit service than to bring it back. SEPTA is incredibly lucky the state got involved much earlier and much stronger than NJ Transit had.

Does it suck? Yes. Conrail tore up the tracks. Unfortunately, even in 1981, rails still weren't the big thing. No one likes that an ex-high speed line is now the equivalent of an unmaintained rail or snowmobile trail. However, it happens. The Lackawanna Cut-off is far from the only rail to suffer from it.

How do you justify it to taxpayers that have to deal with NJT cancelling trains due to lack of staff, a bridge that is constantly getting screwed up and only the Coast Guard has made life easier, plus two-storm damaged tunnels built in 1910 that need twins and rehab to justify a 132 mile rail extension to Scranton?
  by DutchRailnut
 
PA has not offered a dime , cost of service beyond last NJ station to PA stations would be 100%, would PA buy and maintain a proportional equipment pool , would they subsidize (about 60%) of cost to move a passenger from PA station to a NY station ?
  by Backshophoss
 
This has always been a time and material project,done in house by NJT,local NIMBY's and Christe have created setbacks.
PA must "by in" for Scranton service,a lost cause due to SEPTA chronic underfunding.and the Amtrak Pittsburg service.
Stop at Andover and call it even for now.
  by DutchRailnut
 
last 357 pages says he is not wrong.
  by Ken W2KB
 
Backshophoss wrote: Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:14 pm This has always been a time and material project,done in house by NJT,local NIMBY's and Christe have created setbacks.
PA must "by in" for Scranton service,a lost cause due to SEPTA chronic underfunding.and the Amtrak Pittsburg service.
Stop at Andover and call it even for now.
Not just the local NIMBYs. The environmental action organization Sierra Club has been, and continues to be, a vehement opposer to any extension of NJT rail service on the cutoff in New Jersey.
  by JoeG
 
If we provide a realistic estimate of travel times, we could do a study of how many people from what places in PA would take a train from PA to NJ/NYC. If our survey is honest and provides real transit times. it's hard to see that many PA residents would sign up. Right now a bus to Dover sounds the most realistic.
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