Amtrak agrees to study possibility of Scranton, NYC passenger rail service


SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Amtrak is entering a joint planning agreement with the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority to study the possibility of using the Keystone State’s passenger rail service to connect Scranton to New York City, according to a release from The Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority.

Thousands of people here in NEPA wake up early in the morning and take a bus to New York City for work because transportation options are so limited. But a new agreement is set to study another option.

“I’m constantly on a bus. I literally spend four hours a day on a bus,” said Ceciley Johnson, NYC commuter.

Johnson is a mother of two. She wakes up at 3:00 a.m. to take a bus to work in New York City.

“You do have to pay $200 a week on a bus pass. I would definitely take the train because I know it’d be faster than the bus,” Johnson said.

Now, let’s take you back to November of 1966. Exclusive video shows the last run of the legendary Phoebe Snow from Scranton to New York City. Now, there’s been talk of restoring the rail service between the two cities.

Ryan Chandler has been working at home since the start of the pandemic. He recently moved to the Poconos, but now it’s time to head back to work in the Big Apple.

“It will be an extra four hours out of my day, but I can work on the bus, so it won’t be too bad,” Chandler said.

“You know, if I got to New York faster, I could get a little more sleep and it also cuts into my time at home with my children,” said Johnson.

The study will take around one year to complete and cost $400,000. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the return of intercity passenger rail service.

The study will provide information on the priority the service would receive, versus the other potential Amtrak projects announced last year. Much of the funding for this project would come from the infrastructure bill making its way through congress.

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