NYC Bound Amtrak Coming To Monroe County? Not Quite Yet. Here’s What Needs To Happen First.

Stroudsburg Herald

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Photo by Michael Lynn

by Michael Lynn

Amtrak is proposing a passenger rail service with new stations in East Stroudsburg, Mount Pocono, and Tobyhanna. These proposed stations will connect the Amtrak Station in Scranton to Penn Station in New York City. If approved, we can be looking at a construction period that will take roughly five years to complete.

The recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) has allocated Sixty Billion Dollars in funding for national railroads. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will take six months to develop a grant program. Once this program is in effect, the FRA will work directly with states to finalize the FRA corridor list - a list of areas where building a rail would be the most beneficial. If our area makes the top five, we will likely receive the necessary funding. The corridor list will take approximately eighteen months to complete. The entire approval process will take roughly two years to complete.

To clarify, the rail system has not been approved as of yet, but if conditions are met, construction for the main rail will be set to begin. Construction has already started on a portion of the rail. The first seven miles of the Lackawanna cutoff, Port Morris to Andover, NJ, are currently under construction.

"This is amazing and very convenient for those that travel back and forth for work and seeing family. It is also very eco-friendly of an idea so long as we aren't clearing what isn't unnecessary or damaging to the environment," says George Miller of Tobyhanna.

Stroudsburg resident Marisol Martinez says, "Once we are able to have a train that runs to NYC, not only will it provide a lot of short-term (construction) work, but also long-term employment opportunities. It will benefit The Poconos in the sense of being a tourist attraction. It will make coming here a lot easier to access, and also it will help our super commuters get to work and be back to their families a lot faster."

Overall this proposed rail is being met with overwhelming support. After decades of talks and rumors, it seems we are closer than ever.

For updates on the rail and other news in Monroe County, follow The Stroudsburg Herald, now on the News Break App

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