Getting the train rolling from NEPA to the Big Apple


EAST STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The dream of rail service from NEPA to the Big Apple is finally gaining traction, and Tuesday night, a rally of sorts to celebrate recent progress and the projected revenue the rail line could bring to our area.

The Passenger Rail has been chosen to receive federal funding, just another step toward being a train ride away from the Big Apple.

Many locals were at the celebration at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions this evening and are excited for the future.

After decades of designing a region-wide rail service to the big apple, federal, state, and local officials rallied on tuesday as they put the wheels in motion.

“The people of northeastern Pennsylvania deserve this. They deserve to have the kind of travel amenities that other places in this country already have,” Representative Matt Cartwright.

Hundreds filed into Kalahari Resorts and Conventions as they celebrated the Scranton, Poconos, New York City Passenger Rail being selected for federal funding.

An advancement that locals began to believe would never become a reality.

“When I was growing up, I would hear always about a train coming and it would never happen. And even driving here tonight, I said to my brother, “Is this really gonna happen?’” said Clarks Summit resident Amy Clegg.

Larry Malski, President of PA Northeast Regional Railroad Authority, has been part of the project for 40 years and is excited to see it through.

“We’re into the world series now and that’s what we wanted to do. We’ve got a few more games to win, but we feel very confident we’re going to because of all the homework and planning that we’ve done up until this point,” Malski explained.

Although Congressman Matt Cartwright believes the train will pass through northeast PA, he says their journey is just getting started.

“We’re very confident that it will reach the end, but we have to keep our eyes on the ball, our eyes on the prize, and not let up the pressure,” Cartwright stated.

Cartwright says before a shovel hits the dirt, there will be studies in the next year or two– including cost estimates and environmental impact.

And when the wheels do start to turn, the goal is to bring more than tourists into NEPA.

“Who wants to add 84 million dollars a year, every year, to the local economy? ‘We do!’” Cartwright said.

Scranton business owner, Amy Clegg, is just one in the crowd that yelled in support on Tuesday.

“I know it’s gonna be great for my business, it’s gonna bring so many more jobs to the area so it’s gonna be great,” Clegg said.

As mentioned, studies will be conducted for a year or two before construction can take place.

Congressman Cartwright says not to expect to see a train on the move until at least 2028.

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