Today, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08) hosted an event with local elected officials, transportation officials, business leaders and Amtrak and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) representatives to discuss how to take full advantage of the historic opportunities provided by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and restore passenger rail service from Scranton to New York City.
“Since I got to Congress, I have been leading the charge to bring passenger rail service back to Northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Rep. Cartwright. “We know that putting our area back on the rail map will grow businesses, create jobs and boost tourism, bringing in billions of dollars in economic development. I’m proud to stand with local, state and federal officials to make sure our region takes full advantage of the historic federal investment in passenger rail expansion.”
The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides $66 billion for rail investment, including funds for Amtrak and the FRA to improve existing lines and expand service to new areas. Amtrak’s 2021 expansion plan included three round trips between Scranton, PA and New York City. In August, Amtrak estimated that this new service would generate $87 million in annual economic activity, plus $2.9 billion from one-time investments along the corridor.
Rep. Cartwright was joined via Zoom by Reps. Susan Wild (PA-07) and Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), who also supported the enactment of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
"The expansion of passenger rail as part of the bipartisan infrastructure law will do so much for our small business owners, manufacturers, tourism, and more, from lowering the cost of doing business to empowering our communities to reap the benefits of fewer congested highways and roads,” said Rep. Susan Wild. “Plus, it’s a vital part of broadening our transportation options to address climate change. I'm extremely proud to have joined with my colleagues to get this done."
“The Lackawanna Cut-Off Restoration Project to re-establish the rail connection between New York City and Scranton is crucial for tens of thousands of my constituents across North Jersey as well as many more families in Pennsylvania, and is another way that the bipartisan infrastructure bill is bringing funds to our region,” said Rep. Sherrill. “Increased access to these historically central rail lines means reduced congestion on commutes, expansions of economic opportunity and jobs, and an increase in tourism and the revenue it brings. This project will strengthen our communities and grow our regional economy, which is why I’m so excited to join today with Rep. Cartwright, Amtrak, the Federal Railroad Administration, and key stakeholders to finally get this done.”
The historic investment in rail was applauded by local business and community leaders, including Chris Barrett, President and CEO of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau.
“From small mom and pop shops to our large resorts, the return of the Amtrak passenger rail service will be a game changer for our local economy and the more than 30-million guests who visit the Pocono Mountains every year,” said Barrett. “In addition, our residents will benefit from an enchanted quality of life with easy access to and from New York City.”
A full fact sheet on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is HERE. A Pennsylvania fact sheet is HERE.