Amtrak Eying Abandoned Hudson Rail Tunnels

Amtrak may work with NJ Transit to build a second set of tunnels (previously known as ARC that was scuttled by NJ Gov. Christie) under the Hudson River, possibly to connect with New York's Penn Station, according to an Amtrak VP and NJ Transit.

"A partnership (with NJ Transit) would be the immediate strategy to get two tracks (built under the Hudson) as soon as possible," said Al Engel, Amtrak Vice President of High Speed Rail, who was interviewed after he addressed the Transportation Research Forum New York Chapter on Nov 4.

"Engel's statement is the first confirmation that the two agencies are meeting about how to use years of planning, engineering and environmental work for the NJ Transit
tunnel for a set of Amtrak tunnels.

The tunnels would be the first phase of a four-phase, $117 billion, plan to provide 220-mph Japanese-style high-speed rail service on the Northeast Corridor between Washington and Boston, which would be completed by 2050, he said."

This development may be viewed favorably by incoming House Transportation Chairman John Mica who has frowned on many of the corridors selected by the administration for its high speed rail investments and openly wondered why the Northeast Corridor was not selected.

"Mica said he wants to "refocus on several projects that could be a success, particularly in the Northeast corridor, which was almost totally neglected by the administration. We'll revisit all of those projects." [AP: Key GOP lawmaker cool to high-speed rail grants, 11/04/2010 ]

Thanks to Crain's News Alerts

Full Story: Amtrak looks to use NJ Transit work on tunnel plan

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