Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby east point » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:58 pm

Many persons make a false assumption that a tunnel's route will go thru only one kind soil. False! Seattle's underground light rail has had to have different types of TBNs for various tunnels. Believe that one tunnel had to use one type TBM for part and another for the rest ? The Gateway north river tunnels are planned to go lower to avoid the sediment on top of rock. Greater slope is result and will limit tunnel height.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby EuroStar » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:46 am

The proposed track map in chapter 2 of the DEIS shows that the new tunnels will have access to tracks 1-18. That is plenty given the way NYP is operated right now. Who remembers the last time an Amtrak train was on tracks 19, 20 or 21? Access to tracks is not an issue. The switching plant is much more likely to be a constraint. While worn, the existing switching plant for the existing tubes was a from scratch design (well, it has been modified somewhat over the years) optimized for access and conflict avoidance (as per the early twentieth century definitions and standards for those). Just look at the symmetry and the regular 'periodicity' of the design. The new tunnels do not have the luxury of a from scratch design -- they will get whatever can be crammed in the available space of Yard A making conflicting moves more likely (and the resulting delays). The optimal switching plant for four tracks (the final result after the rehab of the existing tubes) is probably quite similar to the existing layout at Grand Central, but there is no way to get anything like that with the space constraints here.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby EuroStar » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:53 am

east point wrote: The Gateway north river tunnels are planned to go lower to avoid the sediment on top of rock.

That is false. The tunnels are mostly in the sediment under the river. The rock is too far below. That is why they need to stabilize a portion of the river bottom as the tunnels is too close to the surface for the sediment by itself to be sufficient to allow for the tunnel boring.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby east point » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:11 pm

EuroStar wrote:The proposed track map in chapter 2 of the DEIS shows that the new tunnels will have access to tracks 1-18. That is plenty given the way NYP is operated right now. Who remembers the last time an Amtrak train was on tracks 19, 20 or 21? Access to tracks is not an issue. The switching plant is much more likely to be a constraint. While worn, the existing switching plant for the existing tubes was a from scratch design (well, it has been modified somewhat over the years) optimized for access and conflict avoidance (as per the early twentieth century definitions and standards for those). Just look at the symmetry and the regular 'periodicity' of the design. The new tunnels do not have the luxury of a from scratch design -- they will get whatever can be crammed in the available space of Yard A making conflicting moves more likely (and the resulting delays). The optimal switching plant for four tracks (the final result after the rehab of the existing tubes) is probably quite similar to the existing layout at Grand Central, but there is no way to get anything like that with the space constraints here.


For access to the new bores will probably require many more double slip switches to access tracks 1 - 18 ? Wonder if any of the present emergency work will provide some access. Might be handy to be able to store equipment in the tunnel box ?
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby EuroStar » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:10 am

east point wrote:For access to the new bores will probably require many more double slip switches to access tracks 1 - 18 ? Wonder if any of the present emergency work will provide some access. Might be handy to be able to store equipment in the tunnel box ?

Trains cannot be stored in the now existing tunnel box between 10th and 11th Aves. The tunnel box is not connected to Yard A because the portion under 10th Avenue has not been built yet. Interestingly enough the portion under 11th Avenue has actually been completed. I do not know what, in terms of the box, exists west of 11th Avenue.

Once the rehabilitation of the old tubes commences it might be possible to use the eastern portion of the closed tube to store a train or two until the rehab work gets to that eastern portion of the closed tube. Given that with the opening of the new tubes NJT will loose some of the midday storage capacity at NYP, I suspect that once the old tubes are rehabbed a few trains will head west for storage during the midday, but I doubt that it has been decided which yard.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:19 am

A "short and sweet" update on Gateway appears front page of the New York section.of Today's Times:

http://nytimes.com/2017/07/20/nyregion/ ... oject.html

Fair Use:

It’s an active construction site, hard hat and harness required, but the two tubes under the rising towers of the sprawling Hudson Yards development on the Far West Side of Manhattan are relatively peaceful. The nine-foot thick concrete walls, floors and ceilings are all smoothed over, humming with the whir of ventilation ducts and the low buzz of battery-powered LED lighting.

Echoes from shouts reverberate for seconds.

For two blocks, the box tunnels stretch, curving slightly as they cut a clean concrete cavern 90 feet below 10th and 11th Avenues, plugged on both ends by stark concrete walls that abruptly halt their march


While no "ground has been broken" with this article around here, it could well with "John Q" resulting in a few emails in the "Critters', and even 1600's, inboxes.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby bostontrainguy » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:51 am

Are these being designed for Superliner use or other future doubledecker cars? I know the existing restrictions so please don't jump all over me about catenary, high-level platforms and East River Tunnels :)

I was just wondering if "Future Proofing" new tunnel construction is happening.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby EuroStar » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:56 am

bostontrainguy wrote:Are these being designed for Superliner use or other future doubledecker cars? I know the existing restrictions so please don't jump all over me about catenary, high-level platforms and East River Tunnels :)
I was just wondering if "Future Proofing" new tunnel construction is happening.


I have no reference handy, but I seem to remember that Gateway including the new tunnels and the existing right of way preservation box are designed to fit NJT multilevels and that is it. Nothing taller than that.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby EuroStar » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:16 am

What is the potential of Elon Musk causing a big delay in the federal financing? For reference, see http://abcnews.go.com/US/local-governments-caught-off-guard-elon-musks-hyperloop/story?id=48755923. There are other sources on the web too. What is the potential of the politicos (especially outside of the Northeast Corridor) in Washington delaying funding for their half of the tunnels on the excuse that they need to study Musk's hyperloop idea between DC and NYC? It seems the perfect excuse to claim that private industry can provide fast transportation between DC and NYC, so Washington does not have to pony up any money for 'old' and slow trains.

As a side note, I believe that the hyperloop thing cannot work in the US because he has no way to get underground easements from all property owners along the way in order to build a tunnel. Musk should stick to rockets and cars and stay out of anything that involve NIMBYs (or in this case NUMHs, for Not-Under-My-House).
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby Nasadowsk » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:11 am

EuroStar wrote:What is the potential of Elon Musk causing a big delay in the federal financing?


If anyone thinks, none. Annoyingly, politicians don't think.

What is the potential of the politicos (especially outside of the Northeast Corridor) in Washington delaying funding for their half of the tunnels on the excuse that they need to study Musk's hyperloop idea between DC and NYC? It seems the perfect excuse to claim that private industry can provide fast transportation between DC and NYC, so Washington does not have to pony up any money for 'old' and slow trains.


Wow, a guy from a car company blowing smoke to hold up a competing form of transport? That never happens!

As a side note, I believe that the hyperloop thing cannot work in the US because he has no way to get underground easements from all property owners along the way in order to build a tunnel. Musk should stick to rockets and cars and stay out of anything that involve NIMBYs (or in this case NUMHs, for Not-Under-My-House).


I guess the difficulties of pumping down a long tube to a near vacuum, the energy required, the safety implications, etc etc etc never occurred to anyone?

Hyperloop is at best a half baked idea, and more likely a crazy fantasy or outright fraud. There's been equally dumb ideas *cough* maglev *cough* that have gotten at least as much traction, if not more, though...

Though, honestly, Amtrak and the FRA seem to need no help at killing off any progress - 25 billion for a stupidly routed tunnel? 153 billion to get NY-Boston to speeds that the French would have laughed at 25 years ago? Answering every problem (real or imaginary) with the chant "MOAR MONEY!!"? Turning PTC into a massive mess, where a proven system like LZB would have done the job? Not bothering to do simple upgrades to existing equipment to prevent accidents?

At some point, the public will say "enough already". Given that a long needed tunnel expansion on the most important route in North America can't get past the bickering stage...
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby east point » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:57 pm

Isn't Musk talking about a tube smaller than even the London underground to reduce tunneling costs. This poster certainly does not want to be enclosed in that type of tube.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby Jeff Smith » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:51 am

Going through some old news, and kind of surprised this didn't make it on here: http://www.rpa.org/article/rpa-releases ... son-travel

While a lot of it discusses Penn and the PA Bus Terminal, the idea of extending the new Gateway tunnels into Queens, and an east side stop, are interesting, if unlikely.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby rr503 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:02 am

Yeah.

Lately I feel the RPA has lost some of its clout in planning -- their opinion seems to be important only among those who really know them.

While 2 more tunnels to Queens would be nice, finding some way to connect pennsouth to the existing 4 seems like a no brainer. I'm pretty sure Rethink proposed it, but was unsure if this was another pie in the sky type thing or something that could actually work..
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby 35dtmrs92 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:27 pm

I am definitely of the opinion that the money that a fifth and sixth East River tube would require, would be better spent if put toward redoing the NYP eastern throat, fitting (a portion of) the M7s with pantographs/equipment to use 12.5 kV 25 Hz AC, and putting third-rail shoes on the ALPs, and I am puzzled that the RPA hasn't addressed that.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:53 am

Gray Lady reports that bipartisan Gateway "apparatchiks" gathered with the President yesterday in what she reports was a "productive" meeting:

http://nytimes.com/2017/09/07/nyregion/ ... unnel.html

Fair Use:
..President Trump huddled for about an hour with top officials from New York and New Jersey at the White House on Thursday, including Senators Chuck Schumer, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand and Govs. Andrew M. Cuomo and Chris Christie, to discuss the future of a multibillion-dollar tunnel between the two states

Possibly this project will move forth in the spirit of bipartisanship (especially since the President has had to add this song to his playlist of late), however, to me, there was an unfortunate takeaway reported:
...Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen, a Republican from New Jersey and the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, recently earmarked $900 million for the project. But another Republican congressman, Ted Budd of North Carolina, has proposed an amendment to a transportation funding bill that would allow other states to apply for some of that money.

I can only hope that Gateway does not become a pork barrel much as did the rail related projects under ARRA09 (really; HSR through Kansas?)
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