The Case for New Hudson River Rail Tunnels – The New York Times

(NY TIMES)  Across the country, competition is stiff for the most dilapidated bridge, tunnel or train system.

But a plan for a pair of new passenger tunnels under the Hudson River, called Gateway, surely ranks one, two and three in terms of urgent rail projects.

Passenger traffic under the Hudson River — and by association a hefty chunk of the nation’s economy — relies on a couple of broken-down, century-old tunnels strained to capacity. They serve Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains that at rush hour have come to resemble the Marx Brothers’ stateroom scene.

Gateway, which has been pushed by the Obama administration, calls for two new passenger rail tunnels feeding into Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan, the nation’s busiest and most disgusting transit hub, not to mention a potential fire trap. In 2010, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey killed a plan called ARC to add tunnels. Despite federal assurances to the contrary, he claimed potential cost overruns could leave his state holding the bag. Instead, Governor Christie directed money already set aside for the tunnels (including billions from the Port Authority) to roadway projects. Considering the Hudson is a chokepoint for passenger rail traffic all the way from Boston to Washington and even beyond, that move left the whole Eastern Seaboard transportation network in a highly precarious position.

Source: The Case for New Hudson River Rail Tunnels – The New York Times