Commissioners favor increasing rail transport to lessen Route 80 traffic

SUSSEX COUNTY. The Lackawanna Cut-Off line will be restored to better serve the Andover area.

| 16 Sep 2022 | 04:39

The Sussex County Commissioners on September 14 came out in support of Amtrak’s Connects US Plan and participation in the Federal Railroad Administration’s rail grant program, which is designed to restore passenger rail service between New York City and Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The service to Scranton would be restored by the fully reconstructed Lackawanna Cut-Off route through Sussex County.

“The proposed route would provide a reliable and efficient transportation option connecting the two cities with a host of smaller cities, towns, colleges and universities located along the corridor, along with many other connections that would become available,” Commissioners Director Anthony Fasano said.

New Jersey has invested over $17 million, and Pennsylvania has invested $18 million.

According to the resolution, the new rail route is needed for tourism and business travel along the already congest Interstate-80 corridor. It is also expected to relieve traffic congestion and improve mobility to underserved communities.

The Lackawanna Cut-Off route hosted passenger trains until 1970, and the eastern end of the suspended segment is already under construction by New Jersey Transit to extend its current service to Andover.

The Lackawanna Cut-Off Restoration project focuses on the planned restoration of passenger rail service on the east end of the Lackawanna Cutoff, between Port Morris and Andover, building a new rail station in Andover and replacing approximately seven miles of track. As part of the project, the Roseville Tunnel, which is a rock tunnel located near Roseville Road in Byram Township, will be rehabilitated.

The project is expected to be completed in late 2026.

Fasano said it will help provide an alternative to the I-80 corridor and will benefit civic and business interests on both sides of the Delaware River.

“The importance of this initiative cannot be understated,” Fasano said. “I’m really happy to see progress on this because I know there’s been a tremendous amount of work that has gone into it for a long time. I think it has the possibility to tremendously improve Sussex County’s future.”