Excursion run idea seems premature

Plans for a train ride to New York have jumped the tracks. Running a one-day train excursion from Allentown to New York seemed like such a good idea that when an Amtrak official suggested it in December, people from three states began inquiring about tickets.

Apparently, the idea was better in concept than execution, because the train ride Amtrak executive Joe McHugh said could happen by April not only hasn’t happened, it probably won’t — at least not any time soon.

~ Matt Assad, from Allentown Train Ride to New York Derailed

Lehigh Valley shouldn’t miss the next train

I can’t tell you how many local articles I’ve read on the subject. Kirk Raup of Bethlehem is frequently quoted with ideas that could bring this elusive endeavor to reality. Raup makes sense to any objective observer. He cites how important it is for our city and county leaders to form a regional rail transit agency necessary to start the ball rolling, and he gives some suggestions on how it might be funded.

~ Wally Ely, from Lehigh Valley Shouldn’t Miss the Next Train

Smart growth include rail

McHugh suggested starting with a Lehigh Valley to New York City area route, citing the high number of bus trips between the areas daily.

Rail service in the Lehigh Valley isn’t something that is just on McHugh’s radar screen. He cited a 2010 PA State Rail Plan that identified the Lehigh Valley as a strategic freight corridor and the fact passenger rail in the eastern corridor of the state is thought of at Amtrak as a “Vision Project,” meaning it’s thought to have good potential but isn’t funded.

Speaking to the benefits of rail, McHugh stated, “Everywhere we go, economic development follows.  If you are looking for a different way to revitalize a downtown, rail service brings it.”

~ from 5 Things We Learned at the Summit for Smart Growth