When talking about the high speed rail connection between the big cities and Wilkes-Barre as well as related sub-scale projects like a light rail line connecting Hazelton to Scranton, I've been a bit too narrow in focus. I've been remiss in acknowleding the county construct of the region which means that when we talk about Wilkes-Barre, we aren't really talking about Wilkes-Barre. In 2015 there were just 40,700 people living in the area defined precisely as the city. 41,000 or some odd people is not enough to merit the dream of hosting a New York or Philadelphia bedroom community bound by rail, even if we mean the total population of folks across all station stop cities.
Luzerne County is in fact the "city" which is why part of the struggle to bring rail to Wilkes-Barre is an equal struggle to normalize and professionalize -- and most importantly consolidate -- Luzerne County's disparate township and borough operations, as much as tolerably possible.
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