Essex County could welcome two new Amtrak stations as early as 2028. A project between the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority and Amtrak is exploring the possibilities of connecting northeastern PA to the NYC area through Essex County. This project will further connect Montclair and Newark to New York City by train and develop new stations in spots like Scranton and Mount Pocono. Read on to learn about Essex County’s new Amtrak stops and all the trips you can take with them.
What We Know
Essex County is home to numerous train and transit stations serving NJ Transit and the Newark Light Rail. There’s even one station serving Amtrak. Essex County’s Amtrak connections will soon grow to three as early as 2028. While this project’s main goal is to connect northeastern PA to the NYC metro region, Essex County residents would benefit from increased service to NYC via the additional routes.
Commuters, college students, and transit-traveling connoisseurs can take the Amtrak from Newark Penn Station to places like Washington, DC; Boston, Massachusetts; Richmond, Virginia; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania traveling routes like the Northeast Regional, Keystone Service, Silver Meteor, and Acela. In the future, travelers will be able to take Amtrak from Bay Street Station in Montclair and Broad Street Station in Newark. The New York-Scranton Line will connect Newark, as well as Montclair, to Blairstown, and the Pennsylvania communities of Scranton, Tobyhanna, Mount Pocono, and East Stroudsburg.
In March of this year, Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority (PNRRA) and Amtrak National Network Planning Department released the findings after a two-year-long study to examine the potential for a rail service between Scranton and New York City. The distance between Scranton’s shuttered Amtrak station and New York Penn Station is approximately 125 miles.
The study proposes three roundtrips per day and looks to serve an estimated 470,000 riders per year. PNRRA and Amtrak estimate that the trip time between New York Penn and Scranton is 3 hours and 25 minutes. Driving between these two spots ranges from 2 hours and 16 minutes to 2 hours and 46 minutes.
In addition to adding routes, the project would add Amtrak service at four NJ Transit stations (Newark Broad Street; Montclair-Bay Street; Morristown; and Dover) and create four new service stops (Blairstown, NJ; East Stroudsburg PA; Mt Pocono, PA; and Scranton PA). One of the ‘new’ service stops would be the Scranton Amtrak Station, which has been closed to train service for decades and is currently used as a bus terminal.
PNRRA and Amtrak tested several schedules to determine which were most feasible, cost-effective, and least likely to interfere with commuter rail like NJ Transit. Both schedules provide three round trips for all stops besides Morristown and Montclair Bay Street.
Option B provides two Eastbound trips from Scranton to Montclair at 6:07AM and 11:51AM and one Westbound trip from Montclair to Scranton at 8:36PM. Option D provides two Eastbound trips from Scranton to Montclair at 7AM and 12:58PM and one Westbound trip from Montclair to Scranton at 3:15PM.
Option B provides three Eastbound trips from Scranton to Newark at 6:07AM, 11:51AM, and 5:44PM and three Westbound trips from Newark to Scranton at 8:49AM, 2:25PM, and 8:18PM. Option D provides three Eastbound trips from Scranton to Newark at 7AM, 12:58PM, and 6:57PM and three Westbound trips from Newark to Scranton at 9:35AM, 3:04PM, and 8:27PM.
This isn’t the first time New York and Scranton were connected by rail. According to Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner “Passenger rail service in and out of Scranton was discontinued in 1970, only one year before Amtrak was created. Restoring and expanding this corridor with daily multi-frequency service would dramatically boost mobility and economic development for residents of Scranton and Northeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and the broader Northeast region.”