Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby JCGUY » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:19 am

NJ and NY have between them 4 senators, each of which has attacked Trump in the most vitriolic way possible for the entirety of his administration. The two states have together done just about zilch to build the tunnels, and the states' all time favorite, bestest, most incredible Nobel prize winning president, applied no actual money in 8 years to the tunnels, even with a trillion dollar stimulus package. Why is Trump supposed to take effectively one year of the Federal DOT's entire budget to this project? Why would any Republican president do that? The Democrat presidents don't even do this. At some point, it seems like you just reach the conclusion that America just doesn't really care about these tunnels. I agree that we need them, but not sure what is reasonably in it for Trump. You'll all still hate him, right?
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby andrewjw » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:00 pm

Because the President is supposed to do what is good for the American people, not just the ones who voted for him.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby JCGUY » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:18 pm

That doesn't explain why Obama didn't at least get this project underconstruction, as well are all well aware that he cared deeply about what is best for the country. He could at least have gotten Portal built, which has had its final design complete for nearly a decade. Schumer, who, as the dean of the local delegation, should really be making this happen as the local adult commanding the other 3 senators, reflexively voted against the DOT secretary's nomination (her husband is Senate majority leader), and delayed other key DOT nominations. I'm just trying to figure out where the love for Gateway is supposed to come from. Perhaps President Warren or President Kamala Harris will open the checkbooks in 4 years, but with NY-NJ votes already locked up, there's just not much incentive for them to do so, and neither has staked their political careers on infrastructure.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby gokeefe » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:55 pm

The stake that the President has in these tunnels is getting re-elected. He'll never win New York but New Jersey's electoral votes would have been nice.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby STrRedWolf » Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:54 pm

JCGUY wrote:That doesn't explain why Obama didn't at least get this project underconstruction, as well are all well aware that he cared deeply about what is best for the country. He could at least have gotten Portal built, which has had its final design complete for nearly a decade. Schumer, who, as the dean of the local delegation, should really be making this happen as the local adult commanding the other 3 senators, reflexively voted against the DOT secretary's nomination (her husband is Senate majority leader), and delayed other key DOT nominations. I'm just trying to figure out where the love for Gateway is supposed to come from. Perhaps President Warren or President Kamala Harris will open the checkbooks in 4 years, but with NY-NJ votes already locked up, there's just not much incentive for them to do so, and neither has staked their political careers on infrastructure.


The MTA Purple Line in DC took 20 years to get construction going. 4 years? Doubtful.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby BandA » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:15 pm

Could someone post a link to the agreement that doesn't exist? Does it or not?
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby DutchRailnut » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:39 pm

If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby CLamb » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:57 pm

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?
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby Nasadowsk » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:21 am

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Will it somehow be "Day's Work For a Day's Pay" when Gateway finally starts?

viewtopic.php?f=68&t=166609

Pretty safe to say the President knows first hand what the Taxpayers are "in for", and is reluctant to have Gateway start on his "Watch".


This is just part of the problem. Let's face it, like the 2nd ave, and East side Access, Gateway will become a wealth-transfer program first, and a transit project second. Everyone knows it.

For trump, kicking off Gateway brings him nothing. Let's face it, the NYC area isn't kind to him, and never will be. Period.

It buys him nothing in flyover country.

And, let's be honest here, a tunnel closing affects the rounding error's worth of Amtrak riders out there, and a bunch of commuters from NJ. The world won't end. 99% of the country won't even notice anything.

Try to get the farmer in Nebraska to care about what's a LOT of money to dig a tunnel for a rail line, to handle traffic for a few hours a day, during the week.

Maybe if Gateway cost 'only' 3 or 4 billion, you could justify it to the rest of the country. But at 13 billion and climbing (For what? It's a tunnel).

And it doesn't solve the issues of Penn station being Penn station. Realistically, it probably won't (and can't) add much more capacity.

Trump has nothing to gain by kicking off Gateway and everything to gain by killing it. And the NYC area has itself to blame for that. Boo hoo.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby andrewjw » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:05 pm

Wow, I can't imagine a more toxic response to this news about how politics is putting at risk a necessary safety, reliability, and capacity improvmeent to the busiest passenger tracks in the United States!
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby Nasadowsk » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:31 pm

I'll bite:

It's $40 out of every man, woman, and child in this country to pay for a tunnel that affects the lives of less than 0.1 percent of this country's population.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby mtuandrew » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:46 pm

It’s true, Trump earns nothing politically from continuing Gateway. He has lost the majority in the Northeast Corridor, and isn’t interested in walking back his inflammatory language even slightly. However, he could stand to earn a lot financially from Gateway if he owns land in the immediate area, as he did with the NYC West Side Line redevelopment. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Trump Organization weasel its way into a renewed Gateway.

As for Secretary Chao, whatever her objective qualifications (being likely the most qualified cabinet secretary, which doesn’t say much in this administration) she still has incredible conflicts of interest between being the spouse of Speaker McConnell and having major ties to Bechtel. Senators Schumer, Booker, and Gillebrand were well within their respective responsibilities to vote against her confirmation, even if they also have bigger fish to fry.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby amtrakhogger » Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:53 pm

The bottom line here is NJ and NY must figure a way to go it alone on financing the tunnels. With a GOP stranglehold on Washington these days, there really is no incentive to work with any blue state on any issue.
BTW, they just got done raking the blue states over the coals with this "tax" reform legislation.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby gokeefe » Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:31 pm

Nasadowsk wrote:For trump, kicking off Gateway brings him nothing. Let's face it, the NYC area isn't kind to him, and never will be. Period.


Given recent electoral history in gubernatorial races New Jersey is (was) clearly a possibility. Pennsylvania is one of the three states that took the President over the top.

Gateway affects both of these states. Given that the federal portion was going to be a loan and not a grant the argument regarding wealth transfer is patently specious and that is to say nothing of the balance of federal payments and revenues between states.

I think all that has happened is an opportunity for the President to reopen the deal and take credit for it later. I still think he will want to name it "Trump Tunnel". In fact he will probably make it a condition of the deal.
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Postby electricron » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:50 pm

I can’t and don’t blame NY and NJ politicians believing there will be a 50% Federal to 50% Local match considering most transit projects are split that way, but where were they when HART received just a 25% Federal to a 75% Local match for the Honolulu Rail project? The truth remains that not every rail project gets a 50% Federal match.
FYI, the projected costs for this new train has now reached $10 Billion, with the Federal match being limited to just $1.55 Billion. Cost overruns has dropped the Federal match percentage down to just 15%.

The reality that NY and NJ politicians should learn is that the higher a project costs the lower the percentage the Federal match will be.
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