The "Pocono Commuter" bulletin board has an ongoing discussion about the possibility of service ever reaching the Poconos. Based on my visit, it looks like the locals are adjusting to "maybe in 2010" up from "definitely in 2005" which had been the case.
There's a good summary of the last 18 months, three items of which jumped out:
- The Delaware River Bridge Authority (Portland bridge, I-80 bridge) is looking at how rail service would affect their development plans. NJ would be interested in the DRBA providing some money for the project. Pennsy isn't excited about that. DRBA may take over rebuilding of the DL&W bridge, and its approaches.
- The Fed pols forced the Lackawanna County Rail Commissioners to resign as a condition for continued Federal investment in the Pocono rail project. Specter is, and has been, a supporter.
- One project manager close to the project pointed out NJT doesn't have capacity into NYP, even on current trains. Adding five trains worth of pax won't happen until the new tunnels are in.
There's also a lot of scepticism as the "90 minutes to NY Penn" promise is closely examined. It's already 90 minutes from Netcong, so another 50 miles has to take some time additional, even if they drop lots of stations.
Kanjorski, who's put a lot of the Federal money into the deal, is now talking about 30 miles of new, high speed, 150 mph service on the Pennsy side. He seems to have concerns that the current line can't be updated for 79 mph service....
http://www.poconocommuter.com/forum/for ... FORUM_ID=3
If you go to the forum, there's a commuter section, then Train Issues