Posts Tagged ‘Lackawanna Cut-off’

Amtrak Agrees to Help Develop NYC-Scranton Corridor

July 21, 2021

An agreement has been reached between Amtrak and the Pennsylvania Northeast Railroad Authority to work toward the establishment of intercity rail passenger service between New York City and Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Amtrak said in a news release that it would provide infrastructure assessment and ridership and revenue forecasting estimates of equipment needs and other analysis of the proposed service.

The project review is expected to take about a year to complete and cost $400,000.

The New York-Scranton route was among several new corridors identified by the Amtrak Connect US plan to be developed by 2035.

The route would use the Lackawanna Cut-Off, a dormant dormant right of way owned by the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The proposed service would be three daily round trips that would connect with New Jersey Transit’s Morristown Line at SWIFT Interlocking (Kearny Connection), then on to Scranton via a rebuilt Lackawanna Cut-Off through a connection with the Morristown Line at Port Morris Junction. 

NJT Morristown Line service currently ends at Hackettstown although plans are in place to develop branch line service from Port Morris to Andover Township.

Other work that needs to be completed includes restoring the 1,024-foot Roseville Tunnel located about six miles west of Port Morris Junction.

Amtrak trains to Scranton would require new dual-power locomotives because the segment between Scranton and the Morristown Line will not be electrified.

Passenger trains last used the Lackawanna Cut-off in 1970. Conrail ended freight service there in 1978 and removed the tracks in 1984.

The route is named for the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western.

Estimates of the cost of restoring track between the Roseville Tunnel and Pennsylvania are around $300 million with most of that needed to repair the Hainesburg Viaduct and Delaware River Viaduct.

Advocates of the project hope to obtain funding from an infrastructure bill now being considered by Congress.

Grant to Fund Lackawanna Cut-Off Engineering Work

March 30, 2019

Work is proceeding to restore the Lackawanna cut-off in preparation for restoration of rail passenger service between New York City and Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority recently awarded a $400,000 grant for engineering work connected with the project.

New Jersey Transit is currently working to put the cut-off back in between Port Morris and Andover, New Jersey.

“The remaining 21 miles in New Jersey and Pennsylvania will require state and federal funding to complete the full restoration of the famed Lackawanna Cut-Off trackage and complete the through route which will be instrumental in taking cars and congestion off of Interstate 80 in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, especially during peak travel periods,” said PNRRA President Larry Malski in a statement.

The $400,000 is in addition to $300,000 in federal funding that PNRRA received from the Appalachian Regional Commission that is being used to pay for engineering work.