Thursday, July 10, 2008

Reviving the Lackawanna Cutoff (Updated 7/16)

Readers of our daily newsletter, EnviroPolitics, have been following news stories on efforts to restore passenger service between Hoboken, NJ and Scranton, PA via the old Lackawanna Cutoff, the last railroad line to be built in New Jersey.

The restoration proposal, designed in part to reduce the ever growing vehicle traffic along Route 80 between the Pennsylvania Poconos and New York City (and New Jersey municipalities in between), is hailed by some as visionary regional transportation planning and trashed by others as an environmental affront.

You'll find links below to recent stories on the proposal and a post from the Tri-State Transportation Campaign's web page which mounts environmental arguments against it.

We welcome you views, too. Just click on the "opinion" link at the bottom of this post and fire away.

Putting aside the present-day controversy, however, we found the history of the Lackawanna Cutoff to be fascinating, not only for the size and scope of the project and the impressive marshaling of men and equipment needed to build it, but also for the audacity of its design and excellence of its execution.

It's the kind of story that must make today's planners and engineers long for the bold spirit of America's industrial age.

We recommend that you check out:
The Lackawanna Cut-Off - Wikopedia
Touring the Lackawanna Cut-Off - NJ Skylands Visitor Guide

Returning to the present-day controversy:
N. J. residents view commuter rail plan - July 12 Pocono Record
Train delay for Warren
- July 9 Express-Times
Commuter rail plans presented in Stroudsburg - July 3 Pocono Record
Train service still a few years down the line - June 19 Express-Times
Lackawanna Cutoff: Why Now and Why There? - Tri-State Transportation Campaign
Lackawanna Cutoff - New Jersey Voices (Star-Ledger)
Lackawanna Cutoff - New Jersey Transit project summary

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