NYC to Scranton part of Amtrak's 2035 vision plan

April 5, 2021
In The News

Amtrak said it would like to expand and improve its rail service across the country as part of President Biden's proposed American Jobs Plan, including right here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

About $80 billion of the American Job Plan would go towards rail efforts if the Plan is enacted. Amtrak released its 2035 vision following President Biden's announcement yesterday, but some Republican lawmakers are fighting back against the Job Plan as a whole, saying it would only put us in more debt.

President Biden's more than $2 trillion American Job Plan proposal could have Amtrak passing through the Electric City.

“I think that would be utilized in a lot of ways," Mayor Cognetti.

Amtrak drafted its 2035 vision following President Biden's announcement yesterday afternoon, which would send $80 billion towards funding rails across the country.

Potentially one of them would run from Scranton to New York City.

Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti said she was in touch with Congressman Matt Cartwright about it earlier Thursday.

“We’ve always heard about the train to New York and obviously it used to exist and the fact that we have to talk about it existing again is frustrating," said Mayor Cognetti.

Tyler Kusma is the Executive Director of the Scranton Rail Road Restoration Coalition.

"You have a lot of support from college students, like myself who want to be able to take the train to go to and from college, you got it from young people who would like to go into the city," said Kusma.

Kusma believes it would also be a boom to the local tourism industry.

"I think this has the potential to be very transformative for the Scranton region," he said.

Republican Congressman Fred Keller said he believes the American Job Plan would only create more debt.

“If this were an infrastructure bill there would be an investment that had a return and you wouldn’t see these historic tax hikes going along with it," said Congressman Fred Keller (R).

President Biden said his proposal would also lead to green jobs and would cut back on climate change.

However, Congressman Keller argues it would give the government too much power.

“This is the Green New Deal on steroids and the Biden administration and the liberal Democrats thinking that they have the authority and to tell people how to live their lives in control," said Congressman Keller.

Amtrak said they have no more specifics to share on its Scranton plan. They did tell us they will be presenting a reauthorization plan to congress that will include details expanding service to areas they believe are not well served at this time.