Delaware-Lackawanna Sees Big Traffic Increases

The Pennsylvania short line saw traffic jump 27 percent in 2022 on all three of its routes. Photo by Larry Amaloo.

Delaware-Lackawanna Sees Big Traffic Increases

By Railfan & Railroad Staff

Pennsylvania’s Delaware-Lackawanna saw a 27 percent increase in traffic in 2022 over the previous year and that trend is continuing this year, with an 18 percent increase in carloads and revenue during the first few months of 2023. 

As a result of that increase, the railroad is working with state and local officials to improve its infrastructure, most notably on the Pocono Main Line between Scranton and the Delaware Water Gap. Among the improvements include added track capacity at Mount Pocono, where it brings grain to Ardent Mills.

The Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority owns the former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western route and has secured state and federal grants to help complete some of the work. The government funds will specifically cover bridge and culvert work.

“It’s not just that traffic continues to increase—it’s also the commodities we haul that necessitate this work,” said Charlie Monte Verde, GVT Rail System Vice President of Strategic Planning. “When you’re talking grain, sand, and building materials, you’re talking high-weight commodities that arrive in significant quantities, and with that comes a significant maintenance obligation and, of course, a constant need for additional capacity.” 

Officials say the work will also help aid the restoration of passenger service between Scranton and New York City via the Lackawanna Cutoff. 

“The capital work being undertaken by GVT/the DL will lessen the necessary public outlay in restoring intercity passenger rail service to Scranton and the Pocono Mountain region. The excellent partnership with PennDOT that DL and PNRRA have developed has provided an economic renaissance for new rail-dependent industries which have created thousands of new jobs in Lackawanna and Monroe Counties in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Larry Malski, President of PNRRA.


This article was posted on: June 22, 2023