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Welcome to Wilkes-Barre Rail

This website is home base to the online sharing and chronicling of transit rail evolution information in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, and NEPA in general.

Rail transit is coming to Wilkes-Barre in these forms:

  • Light rail connecting Hazeleton, Wilkes-Barre and Scranton
  • NJ Transit connection to NYC Penn Station via Lackawanna Cut-Off Project
  • High speed intercity rail connecting Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre and New York City
  • New Possibility: East Coast Hyperloop - because progress is being made.

The Latest

1/26/2018 Andover Twp. OKs Appraisal in Rail Extension
12/20/2017 Train Station, Restored Rail Service Looking More Likely
Context - Related to the last timeline entry, discusses how the promise to reimburse the small Andover Township community for land acquisition and legal costs by NJ Transit will mean the restoration of an old train station to be utilized for the new service.
12/19/2017 Lackawanna Cutoff Project Ready to Roll?
Context - As the Lackawanna Cutoff Project eeks itself ever closer to completion, so does the reality of a Scranton-to-NYC commuter rail connection. Just think even "eekier" though.
September 23, 2017 Wilkes-Barre Station With NJ Transit Signage
New WB Rail blog entry.
September 9, 2017 Luzerne County Council Set to Vote on Strategic Plan
Context - Passenger rail gets a peep from the Luzerne County Council in the form of long term strategic head space. This is good, this is very good. Combined with the recent (and successful) effort to stave off a quick buck by selling existing rail for scrap (more to protect the right of way than the rail itself), this is proof positive that Luzerne County may be, however back-of-the-mindish, poised to one day take Wilkes-Barre intercity or light rail seriously.
August 10, 2017 New Culvert OK'D to Put Andover Rail Station on Track
Context - The re-routing of a New Jersey farm has brought the reality of Wilkes-Barre-to-NYC rail that much closer (here's a more detailed story on the controversy). The resolution of this issue means the NJ Transit Andover train station will be completed (by 2020) which is a toe in the leg to complete a system that reaches Scranton. Special bonus: Wilkes-Barre gets a mention in this article.
June 29, 2017 Movement Seen on Lackawanna Cut-Off Project
Context - As a reminder, the Lackawanna Cutoff project is an actual in-progress New Jersey Transit commuter rail system with the mapped goal of terminating in Scranton. Today when people talk about the NEPA rail connection to New York City they are likely referring to this project. System progress is relatively rife in New Jersey but very little if any progress has been made in the Pennsylvania corridors. Wikipedia article.

June 22, 2017 Bipartisan Letter Demands Answers on Rail Extension
June 21, 2017 What Ever Happened to Expanding NJ TRANSIT Service to Sussex County?
May 19, 2017 Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority Rejects Abandoned Rail Sale
Context - While there are no tangible actions being taken in Luzerne County regarding transit rail today, the preservation of existing rail lines and by extension right-of-ways, is crucial to keeping future options open. Selling the discussed rail for scrap could jeopardize standing deeds to the right-of-way, so the sale rejection is a win for future rail transit.
May 18, 2017 Andover Twp. Mayor Tells N.J. Transit to Get Cutoff on Track
May 17, 2016 Grants Keep Poconos to New York Commuter Train Moving
April 29, 2017 Hope for Rail is a Scrappy One
April 12, 2017 This Town has America's Lousiest Commute
Context - For the price of an average apartment in Manhattan (and likely in any of its surrounding buroughs), it's cheaper to live in, say, Monroe County Pennsylvania and then commute to work. People figured this out decades ago but the drum beat to slide to work in a train instead of on a bus or in speed-demon traffic (or molasses-like congestion) has picked up now that more people than ever are trying it. With high speed rail technology, Wilkes-Barre could just as easily be the better living end of this lifestyle. Warning: at the time of this link posting the destination page had an arbitrary video playing at the top. The article of read is under it.
May 20, 2017 Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority Mulls Selling Rail from Train Tracks
December 27, 2016 Train Route Between Scranton, New York City Not yet a Reality
November 17, 2016 Will Commuter Train Ever Come to NEPA?
November 6, 2016 Monroe County Gives $50,000 for Train Study
May 17, 2016 Grants Keep Poconos to New York Commuter Train Moving
November 28, 2015 More of Everything Needed for Scranton-To-NYC Passenger Train

What Gets Posted

I include links to mainstream media links, blogs (including those from Wilkes-Barre Rail's own entry category) and other PR information posts that are released directly by agencies at their respective websites, and individual online commentary in various forms, whenever said content is pertinent to the advancement of transit rail options in the region. News and information links deemed likely to directly or indirectly impact this kind of development are also sometimes included.

The goal of the link list is to provide a consistent chronological narrative on the march toward rail that visitors can consume in a single visit.

The list is manually curated in order to provide the best web experience. For example, while not always possible, I link to less ad-infested resources over more infested ones when the same information is being presented. I also try to avoid those resources with pay walls or any other blocks to the wider audience. I cross out links as they discovered dead though I keep the crossed out link posted in order to provide continuity of narrative.

Most of the same links are broadcast through various online channels such as through the Wilkes-Barre Rail Twitter feed or its Facebook group.

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