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Passenger Rail Talks Are Back On
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I won't be able to populate this particular blog post much as I'm headed out the door. But here it is: 20 minutes ago I turned the radio on for my daily listening pleasure while showering to hear WILK local radio personalities Sue Henry and La Tarone going back and forth about rail. My ears perk up. Say what?

Turns out that something fired up Sue Henry's attention toward the long discussed issue of connecting Scranton and New York City to rail earlier in her program and she was now challenging some assertions about how bad the idea might actually be with La Tarone who is evidently squaring off against the notion. The usual debate points (who will ride it?, how much will a ticket cost -- both Sue and La Tarone seem settled on imagining that the ticket price would be cast in an "Amtrak" cost framework, not the more plausible "commuter rail" system framework which tends to be vastly cheaper, but I digress) came up, which is fine and well.

Congressman Matt Cartright

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-17, Moosic

What had them going might have been this article that appeared in today's The Times Tribune. Turns out a one US Congressman, Matt Cartwright who represents the Moosic area, has decided to embrace the edgy vision of getting the Lackawanna Cutoff Line back on a feasibility path. He's organized a meeting for tomorrow at the Inn at Pocono Manor, 2:00 sharp, with some of the biggest says in the matter willing to show up, sit down, and, if not loosely, sort out the logistics after so much time with the issue languishing in dormancy. The Times Tribune rightfully infuses the scale of enthusiasm for this event:

Never before have officials as high up in the state and federal transportation agencies all gathered in one room to discuss the revival of passenger service all the way to Pennsylvania, said Larry Malski, executive director of the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority.

This makes my week as it should anyone who cares about turning around Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, and indeed all of NEPA. Will there be a tangible plan when everyone gets up and returns to their cars? I doubt we can say that, but we can say that a meeting of minds and an exchange of the possible will taken place over a particular issue that had all but appeared to dry up until now. Damn, this is fine.


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