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The Return of Passenger Rail: Congressman Cartwright Announces the PA Northeast Project to be included in the Federal Corridor ID Program

Returning passenger rail services to Northeastern Pennsylvania has been a priority of Congressman Cartwright since first joining Congress, and on Friday, December 8 he announced that our rail project has qualified for federal funds.


This week, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg called with the great news that the PA Northeast project was accepted into the Corridor ID program. This is a significant milestone and represents years of dedicated efforts to restore passenger rail service, which will contribute to our region’s economic growth and vitality.


This rail transportation option will provide residents of NEPA a new form of environmentally and all-weather transportation to over 500 destination stations on the Amtrak System across the United States and Canada.


The proposed rail line will create jobs, improve quality of life, and offer convenient travel options for commuters, college students and tourists, alike. It will also connect those of us living in Northeast Pennsylvania to a wider selection of health care services, sporting events, cultural activities and vacation spots.


What’s more, our friends at the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau (PMVB) – under the direction of fellow rail advocate Chris Barrett – completed a tourism analysis that concluded that passenger rail restoration in the Lackawanna Cut Off corridor will generate $73 million in new economic activity each year in the Pocono Mountains alone.


Amtrak has also completed a separate economic impact analysis that concluded restoration of rail service will generate $84 million in new economic activity annually.


This milestone is a major first step, and as this project develops and moves forward Congressman Cartwright’s office can answer your questions. You can email your questions to his office at or call them at 570-341-1050.


Along with state and local officials, he will be speaking at a  passenger rail event in Monroe County hosted by the PMVB on Tuesday, December 19, 2023.  The event will be held at Kalahari Resort at 6:00 PM on the 19th and is open to the public.


Huge thanks to fellow rail warriors Larry Malski, Dominic Keating and Bob Hay for their relentless efforts and to Senators Bob Casey and Chuck Schumer, the huge coalition of state representatives and senators, county commissioners and mayors, and everlasting gratitude to our intrepid Governor Josh Shapiro, who on January 14, 2023 — after almost 6 years of preparation — agreed to spearhead the project, and to PennDOT Secretary, Mike Carroll. Onward!


Learn more here.

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