Lackawanna Cutoff restoration work begins

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ANDOVER, N. J. – It’s only a short segment, but preliminary work on a $551 million project to restore 7 miles of the Lackawanna Cutoff in western New Jersey has begun, the New Jersey Herald reports. The 29-mile cutoff, opened in 1911 and used by mainline trains traveling between Hoboken, N.J., and Scranton, Pa., was abandoned by Conrail in 1984. The line has been the subject of restoration efforts in order to launch local commuter service and eventually intercity passenger rail service to Scranton. The states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania now own the right-of-way.

NJ Transit has started grading work on the right-of-way in Sussex County, N.J. The agency plans to clear trees at some point before April, let construction contracts in June, and begin actual construction by the end of summer.

The first segment of the project will be a 7.3-mile stretch from Port Morris to Andover. The new line will connect to the Montclair-Boonton line at a junction in Port Morris. New commuter stations would be built in Andover and Blairstown, N.J.
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