Delaware Public Media

Lawmakers seek to link regional rail at new Newark train station

Apr 8, 2020

A resolution in the General Assembly would direct DelDOT to work with Maryland and Pennsylvania, Amtrak and other regional entities to strengthen the rail service across all three states.

The goal is to fill a 20 mile gap in service for regional rail, the area between Newark and Perryville, Maryland.

 

There is service along that corridor, but it’s only provided by Amtrak.

State Rep. Ed Osienski (D-Newark) is co-sponsoring the resolution with State Sen. Stephanie Hansen (D-Middletown).  He explains the regional rail would provide a cheaper option.

"Adding the regional rail would make it easier for Delawareans that want to travel south to destinations in Maryland and Virginia," said Osienski. "Right now the only option they have is by using Amtrak which is a little costlier."

With the new Newark rail station slated to open next year, lawmakers hope to connect the Maryland Area Regional Commuter train service with SEPTA at that hub.   

Osienski adds benefits would include job opportunities for residents who could more easily commute, as well as cutting traffic along I-95, reducing emissions and improving safety. 

Osienski says his resolution stems from a Maryland bill waiting for Gov. Hogan's signature establishing service between Perryville and Newark.

"We wanted to counter with letting our Department of Transportation know that we, as legislators, also want this," said Osienski. " So, this just will get them to the table so they can start seriously looking at what options could it be sharing infrastructure that already exists or should we be investing in adding infrastructure."

With the General Assembly currently postponed until further notice, this legislation will most likely be introduced in January.