Monroe County Receives $3.7M Grant for Poconos Amtrak Rail Service Link from Scranton to NYC

11.01.2022


Monroe County, PA - The Monroe County Industrial Development Authority which is part of the Pocono Mountains Economic Development Corporation was awarded a $3.7 million grant from Gov. Tom Wolf’s office to restore passenger rail service between Scranton and New York City through the Poconos and New Jersey.

The funding, through the Pennsylvania Office of the Budget's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, would be matched with $3.7 million in federal dollars to install 43,000 new railroad ties on 40 miles of track between Delaware Water Gap and Gouldsboro on the Pocono Mainline and will allow for trains to reach a top speed of 80 mph in certain straight, level areas needed for the Amtrak Corridor service said Larry Malski, president of the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority, which owns the rail line.

“This is another great step forward when it comes to restoring passenger rail service to New York and will go toward replacing railroad ties in Lackawanna and Monroe counties,” said Rep. Matt Cartwright, PA-08. “This award adds to the building momentum and is a crucial step forward.”

Cartwright said he is grateful to Gov. Wolf’s action and the work of state Rep. Maureen Madden, who represents a major part of Monroe County, in pursuing this project.

“A large and diverse group of supporters has come together to ensure we maximize our efforts when it comes to this significant economic development opportunity, and it’s great to have the Pennsylvania executive branch on our side,” Cartwright said.

The project, which has been a goal of the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority for decades, gained momentum after the passage of the federal bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in November 2021 with an allotment of $66 billion for rail investment of which Amtrak received $22 billion.

The Federal Railroad Administration received $44 billion of which $8 billion was specifically for rail lines and safety, and its Passenger Rail Division was slated to receive $36 billion. Of that $36 billion, $24 billion was assigned to the northeast corridor, according to Dennis Newman, the executive vice president for Strategy, Planning, and Accessibility for Amtrak, during an economic summit in May.

Amtrak’s analysis of the corridor estimates about 425,000 riders a year would travel at least part of the Scranton-to-New York City route. The route would inject $87 million a year into the economy and $2.9 billion in economic activity during the construction phase.

“We are equally grateful and excited for this funding announcement from the Governor’s office,” said Larry Malski, president of the PA Northeast Regional Railroad Authority. “This significant investment by the Commonwealth will strengthen our efforts to restore efficient passenger rail service while revitalizing our local economy and empowering regional communities.”