Even when Lackawanna Cutoff is up and running, you still gotta cross the river.
UPDATE 5/23/15: I'm a little torn about keeping this post up as-is. The point regarding Chris Christie's nod on a cross-river rail connection is still interesting and would certainly impact a system from Scranton one way or another, but it's not needed for a direct Manhattan connection today. The current project scope includes it. An October 11, 2014 Times Leader piecereference on the project reads as such:
NJ Transit’s MidTOWN Direct Service has trains going to and from Penn Station in Manhattan. Malski said riders from Pennsylvania heading into New York City would be able to bypass Hoboken and stay on the same train into the city.
I'm going to be honest, I'm running a little early with my fingers at the keyboard in putting this blog together because I am still pouring through all the existing online information in an effort to learn everything about the proposed system. This is an "oh!" moment in that process!
In all the talk of connecting Wilkes-Barre to New York via rail, it's hard to overlook the fact that the most discussed plan, the Lackawanna Cutoff, doesn't actually run into New York City itself. Granted, running into Hoboken New Jersey is essentially the same thing, but there is some luster lost in the fantasy at the very edges knowing that one has to subway in the rest of the distance to actually reach Manhattan.
Originally, there would have been a tunnel connection from Secaucus Junction (to which Wilkes-Barre will connect) to a new station built next door to Penn Station in New York but the project to do that, the Access to the Region's Core as it was known, was shut down by Governor Chris Christie in 2010.
But suddenly, things have changed. Turns out that Christie has opened the door to a rail project connecting New Jersey to Manhattan again. The article below sheds some light on the possible motivations, but whatever they happen to be, this is good news for a fully "polished" ride from Public Square to Broadway.
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