On Friday, October 15th, from 1 to 5 p.m., the Rail Users’ Network hosts a regional miniconference focussing on Midwestern rail. They hope to host the long-delayed Newark conference in person in Spring 2022, with the Lackawanna Coalition as local advocacy partner and the North Jersey Transportation Planning Association as host. Keep watching for details!
Coalition Helps Connect New England by Rail
“We CAN Connect New England by Rail” was the theme of a conference held in New Haven on April 29, and members of the Lackawanna Coalition helped with the effort. This writer moderated a panel on “Connecting New England with South of New York”. Technical Director Joseph M. Clift described our proposal for building a new track through the Meadowlands and a new tunnel into Penn Station, both at a reasonable cost. Today, there are only two tracks into New York’s Penn Station from New Jersey, and one is taken out of service every weekend. Our plan would guarantee that at least two tracks are always available, under normal operation or a foreseeable emergency situation.
Political Director James T. Raleigh explained the importance of proper strategy when campaigning for a project. He stressed that going to legislative hearings and similar events is the key to gaining the credibility that is needed for effective advocacy. This is the strategy that helped to defeat the proposal for a deep-cavern terminal far below Manhattan streets.
Richard J. Arena, who divides his time between Boston and New Jersey, stressed the importance of connectivity between the regions. New Jersey was well-represented among the attendees, which included 10 members of the Lackawanna Coalition, coming from 5 states. The conference was cosponsored by the Rail Users’ Network (RUN), the Connecticut Sierra Club, and the National Corridors Initiative (NCI).