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Luzerne County Rail Corporation

In 1994, the Luzerne County Commissioners created the Luzerne County Rail Corporation (LCRC) in response to the cessation of operations of the Pocono Northeast Railway Company (Pocono Northeast), a short line railroad, which owned and operated 55 miles of track in Luzerne County. It delegated governance authority of the LCRC to the Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority. Pocono Northeast had served 19 businesses, many of which were solely dependent on rail service for delivery of materials necessary for their operation. With the lack of rail service, over 2000 jobs were potentially threatened.

Aided by State funds, the LCRC and the Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority acquired the assets of Pocono Northeast and entered into a long-term contract with Luzerne and Susquehanna Railway Company (LSX) to serve as rail operator. The current contract expires in August, 2025.  LSX employs seven people to maintain the Luzerne County line.

Since the acquisition, over $6 million in major infrastructure improvements have been made  through financing provided by the Pennsylvania Rail Freight Assistance Program.

The Railroad has continued to increase its business, contributing to and benefiting from the expansion of the companies it serves.  Activity, measured by number of cars loads moved annually, increased from 917 cars in 1995 to 2,247 cars in 2014.  Among the companies served by the LCRC are Modern Gas, Air Products, Lion Brewery, Millazo Industries, Pittston Lumber, Maui Cup, and Leticia Corporation.

Presently unimproved, rail-served sites at the Ashley Rail Yards and Avoca Rail Yards are available for development. Both locations have PA KOZ tax abatement designation until 2017.  Additionally, non-strategic land may be available for lease or sale.

The LCRC governing Board consists of the board members of the Luzerne County Redevelopment Authority and two appointed members.  Currently, appointed members are State Representative Michael Carol and William Gendall. Those interested in learning more about LCRC’s rail services, development opportunities, or land acquisition, can contact Jim Raffa, Luzerne Susquehanna Railway, Co., 25 Delphine Street, Owego, New York, 13827,  607-687-6992 or jraffa@ptd.net.