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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

LV Rail Advocate Chugs Away

Back in 1992, rail advocate Kirk Raub was pitching Lehigh Valley Scenic Railways, a tourist attraction that would follow the Monocacy Creek between Bath and Bethlehem. That proposal ran out of steam, but Raub is still chugging away.

At a City Council meeting on April 17, Raub suggested that Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton establish a rail transit agency and then approach both counties for a referendum on a funding mechanism.

"It's not the impossible amount of money that had been suggested by the study that had been done," Raub assured everyone.

A $250,000 regional rail study, released in 2010, revealed that it would cost $1 billion for a passenger rail line to New York City, serving about 800 riders. In a floodplain.

Raub nevertheless insisted that rail service would still be an "efficient" way to move people into the Lehigh Valley so they could send their money here. He also claimed to have had "a very good talk" with Easton City Council. "Things may actually be rolling in Easton more quickly than anywhere else," Raub stated.

Bethlehem City Council took no immediate action in response to Raub, who said he'll be back.


Anonymous said...

This discussion is interesting in view of the NIZ and the upset over the loss of earned income taxes. A rail line will take Lehigh Valley residents to jobs in New York City. There, those residents will earn six figure salaries and pay taxes to New York state. Since no agreement exists between New York and Pennsylvania to return income taxes, we gain absolutely nothing for our communities. (New Jersey and Pennsylvania have such an agreement) I think this issue needs to be fixed before we start selling ourselves on a population of commuters going from the Lehigh Valley to NYC daily.

Anonymous said...

For verification of the above see the following article:


Anonymous said...

We should sunsidize canal boats, too.

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

Rail from the Poconos to NYC makes more sense since this area has far more NYC work commuters.

Although we should have regional rail connecting the Poconos to the LV and the LV to Philly. That would lower even further the need to keep buying pricey gas for your personal vehicles.

Anonymous said...

If you divide 800 into the one billion, that comes out to $1,250,000.00 per user per year. That doesn't include upkeep, costs, fuel etc.etc. However, that number will be reduced by the fares paid by the users. This is the same philosiphy that was used back in the seventies when it was suggested Northampton County purchase the rail right away between Bethlehem and the Bucks County Border. That was for about 35 passenfers a week and only cost millions. When will these air heads finally get it. It is not affordable on property tax payers budgets.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, that $1,250,000 is for the first year alone. Spread out over ten years that number may come down.

Anonymous said...

GOOD LORD!! Rails and Health Commissions and now NIZs' What is next that the liberals want to build and pay for with our taxes. Do they not get it!!! People are tired and outright angry about more government and more government spending at ALL LEVELS!! The entitlement era is over. Government needs to be downsized everywhere and now. The taxpayer has had enough.

Mark Baker said...

these rail people live in absolute fantasy land. It is not going to happen - end of subject. Yoo hoo - it's called reality.........

Anonymous said...

A rail link between the VALLEY and NEW YORK, what a dream. What we need to build is a GREAT WALL between these 2 places.

Now that would be worth the extra Tax.

Anonymous said...

The gentleman who provided an opinion piece in the Mcall a couple weeks back really missed the mark.

How can you possibly tax everyone to benefit so few rail commuters? The only way to get Regional Support for rail and any tax proposal is to bundle in into a LV transportation funding bill with defined objectives (roads, bridges and rail).

The projects that are funded should have regional benefit from this funding stream (Route 22, Rail, etc). Otherwise, it is just a distraction when we do not have sufficient funding to maintain and upgrade our existing infrastructure. Infrastructure that 10's thousands rely upon every day to get safely to work.

Wonder how public private partnerships could help rail.

Anonymous said...

Is it not Kirk Raup?