Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby OrangeGrove » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:38 pm

EuroStar wrote:Note that the old tubes have connections between them, but due to their construction a third tube cannot be adjacent to them and use them as the safety escape.


What specifically precludes adding a third tube adjacent to the existing tubes? Is this just an inability to access the existing tubes cast iron and concrete linings, or does something actually prevent building a new tunnel alongside?
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby andegold » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:36 pm

I think my post and Euro Star's must have crossed. I did not know that the existing tubes were connected. I also did not see or read the article before making some of the same suggestions.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby east point » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:12 am

It is not feasible to build more than one track bores due to the larger diameter bores for two or more tracks would cause undesirable climb gradients into NYPS. Additional bore next to present was found not feasible . That ship has already sailed as the tunnel boxes under construction ( already 2 track that will split just before the Hudson river wall ) does not align with the present bores.

Just one more bore assumes that there is not a double shut down of the present bores. No one ca tell if that is a possibility but if you bet on that as a politician then woe be to you if that does happen. Right now with this terrible weather the North river tunnel bores are only operating as 1 - 1/2 bores. NJT posts list each bore is having to close for 4 hours to remove icicles from the roof of each bore in turn..4 hours both, 4 hours 1, 4 hours the other, 4 hours both in operation. Two bores with no problems and 1 additional partial is all Amtrak will have until complete renovation of present bores.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby EuroStar » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:01 am

OrangeGrove wrote:
EuroStar wrote:Note that the old tubes have connections between them, but due to their construction a third tube cannot be adjacent to them and use them as the safety escape.


What specifically precludes adding a third tube adjacent to the existing tubes? Is this just an inability to access the existing tubes cast iron and concrete linings, or does something actually prevent building a new tunnel alongside?


While I do not know or understand well all engineering details, it has something to do with the fact that the two exiting tubes float up and down with the tides making construction in their vicinity a dangerous proposition as long as the existing tubes have trains running through them. Safety reasons also preclude making a connection from a new tube to an existing one while operating service in that tube -- you cannot take apart the cast iron rings or drill the concrete for connection while trains are running. Note that the two existing tubes were built together while no trains ran through them. The same is clearly the plan for the two new ones. Also, some portion of the old tubes actually has bricks, not conventional concrete.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby Tommy Meehan » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:46 am

CLamb wrote:The article says, "Senators Schumer and Booker worked closely with Secretary Foxx of the DOT and Chairman Coscia of Amtrak, and secured a commitment from both that their respective agencies would cover half of the total project costs." Did the Secretary and Chairman confirm that they made such a commitment or is the only source of this the Senators' statement?


The US DOT Secretary confirmed it last July by announcing a commitment had been made on USDOT's own website:
"U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced today that two major infrastructure projects in the New York City area are now one step closer to qualifying for federal funding...“Building on our previous investments to date, the U.S. Department of Transportation is taking a concrete step toward making a substantial federal investment in the Hudson Tunnel and Portal North Bridge projects, and we’re looking forward to continuing to work closely with our partners in New York and New Jersey to make a new rail tunnel a reality,” said Secretary Foxx" Link
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby EuroStar » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:56 am

Additional barriers to the federal funding seem to exists http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/watchdog/2018/01/05/even-obama-era-law-could-sink-gateway-rail-tunnel/1001907001/.

Both states must obtain certification by April 15, 2019, for their State Safety Oversight programs, which Congress required in a 2012 transportation bill to prevent and mitigate accidents on rail transit systems. Currently, both states remain short of making that goal.


Basically an old law requires certification of the state safety oversight programs. Both NJ and NY are far behind and likely will not make the deadline. Lack of certification prevents disbursement of federal funds. This is indeed a great gift to an anti-public transportation administration. It can claim that it is the state's fault. This is very convenient excuse to do nothing on the federal funding.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby electricron » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:58 am

Tommy Meehan wrote:The US DOT Secretary confirmed it last July by announcing a commitment had been made on USDOT's own website:
"U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced today that two major infrastructure projects in the New York City area are now one step closer to qualifying for federal funding...“Building on our previous investments to date, the U.S. Department of Transportation is taking a concrete step toward making a substantial federal investment in the Hudson Tunnel and Portal North Bridge projects, and we’re looking forward to continuing to work closely with our partners in New York and New Jersey to make a new rail tunnel a reality,” said Secretary Foxx" Link

The USDOT website doesn't state how much the federal investment will be, either in percentages or sub-totals.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby Tommy Meehan » Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:18 am

The federal program New Jersey and New York were (or are) talking about for Gateway is the FTA's New Starts program. From the US DOT link I posted:
“Acceptance into New Starts is an important step forward for the Gateway Program,” said Amtrak Board Chairman Anthony M. Coscia. “Amtrak is a committed partner in this crucial effort..."

From what I have read, under New Starts the Federal Transit Administration has available over $2 billion a year for grants. Funding ranges between 25% and 50% of a project's cost. As an example, Second Avenue subway Phase One received federal funds equal to about 30% (about $1.3 billion) of the project's cost.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby EuroStar » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:42 am

A new article on the tunnels (and Penn Station). Compared to most of the stuff I see this is relatively well written, but contains no new information.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-01-10/the-most-awful-transit-center-in-america-could-get-unimaginably-worse
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby EuroStar » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:52 am

Here is a photo of the completed, but backfilled overpass that would carry Tonelle Avenue over the new tracks http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/02/should_state_funding_be_increased_for_the_gateway.html. Can someone confirm if only the overpass under the southbound lanes was completed? The photo and the street view on Google Maps seem to imply so.

The article's topic is about lack of any federal commitment to the new tunnel, but that is no news.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby EuroStar » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:23 am

There are two new documents in the library section of the Gateway tunnel website:
http://www.hudsontunnelproject.com/documents/jan-2018_mtgs/2018-01-18%20Weehawken%20Meeting_for%20Website.pdf
http://www.hudsontunnelproject.com/documents/jan-2018_mtgs/2018-01-30%20North%20Bergen%20Meeting_for%20Website.pdf

I will summarize the major items from them that were new to me at least, maybe others were aware of them already.
1. Geotechnical boring is going on at the Wheehawken vent plant site now. It appears similar to the boring that I noted previously in the marshy area south of the approach tracks of the existing tunnels.
2. Preliminary environmental remediation of the Wheehawken site is planned for this fall(2018).
3. Most of the spoils removal will be through the North Bergen site because Wheehawken complained about truck traffic.
4. They will build 25 feet tall walls around the site for noise mitigation and also pay for new noise insulating windows for all neighboring residences.
5. Tunnel construction timeline is March 2019-December 2026. Surface track construction is March 2019-November 2023. Old tunnel rehabilitation is January 2027-December 2030.
6. Most construction including tunnel mining will occur between 7am and 11pm on weekdays only.

It is interesting that 2 above is implied as a done deal even though the full funding for the tunnel has not been secured yet. 3 and 4 illustrate the ways costs of these projects get out of hand because every property owner and local elected official needs to be bought out. I imagine every building owner in 2 block radius in New York will demand the same for the New York vent plant. 6 might be illustrative of union power -- why they cannot drill the tunnel 24/7 is beyond me. With multiple crews you would not need to pay anyone overtime(some people will work weekends and get days off during the week -- it happens in other industries all the time) and spoil removal and material trucking could still be only on weekdays. Aahh, the many ways to make this project incredibly expensive ... and to derail it ...
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby JamesRR » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:56 am

No $$ in the Infrastructure Plan to cover this, so we're back to it being stalled.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby east point » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:30 pm

#6 is especially bad. Wonder what happens if one of the old North river tunnels is closed for any reason.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby Frank » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:12 am

Lets hope construction starts next year. I can't believe that one would think this project is unimportant. :(
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:00 am

What he wants is a "3-way" public/private partnership to build Gateway,with the feds only forking up only 20 % of the needed funding,
leaving the rest on the PANYNJ and both NJ and NY state to find the rest of the needed funds.
He still wants his wall to be built first.
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