Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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ChesterValley
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Re: So Mr Trump says...

Post by ChesterValley »

I want to take a step back here and evaluate a couple of points.

I think the wall is rather...counter-productive. Considering that 60 percent of illegal immigrants that crossed the border in the year 2016-2017 were people who overstayed their visas, accompanied by a decrease in border crossings in the past several years I'm failing to see the need for a wall. Anyways, what do the Dems have to trade since Trump decided to unilaterally declare a state of emergency circumventing the legislative branch anyway? I guess I tend to be a bit softer on the immigration issue because I have seen the immigration court system and it is a big old unfunded dumpster-fire, and just building a wall and chucking people back over it will not fix the problem at all. Is there some non-wall based immigration policy that can be agreed upon?

Regarding taxes, New York state and New Jersey pays more in taxes than it receives in benefits from the federal government. I don't think this project will break the bank, but as I said before the 20 billion dollar price tag is uncomfortably high. I will concede that price needs to get knocked down since European countries can somehow build mass transit infrastructure without breaking the bank.
Tadman wrote:More importantly, the federal government has grown in scope and size in the last 100 years, companies have not shrunk. There's a reason we didn't have federal income tax at one time. We didn't need it.
Well the size scope and power of the Federal government has changed, especially with the Eisenhower interstate system with the highway act of 1956 where the feds changed their formula from 60-40 federal state to 90-10 to build the interstate highway system, etc. We can argue wither or not it should be expanded like it has, but the reality is it's here to stay.

I'm so happy the Center City Commuter Connection was built when it was, it would have never gotten off the ground in this political climate.
The Scheduled 11:30 R5 Local to Malvern Next To Arrive on track 4 Section B

Backshophoss
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Re: So Mr Trump says...

Post by Backshophoss »

Post 9/11,if former Pres Bush(#43) declared the emergency"a la Trump" to build a barrier,it would have been done then,now with "El Chapo" retired to
the Federal Super Max prison,the Drug cartels are now now reeling,and the problems/violence in Central America have driven women and children
north to the US as refugees seeking safe haven
I live about 200 miles north from the Mexican border,there were 2 waves of refugees that arrived at 2 "backwater"ports of entry in NM,
both at Antelope Wells in the "bootheel" and Santa Teresa , the CBP agents were overwhelmed as these refugees surrendered to them.
This happened last month in desert areas of Playas Valley,and he east slope of the West Porillo mountain range.
This area regularly +110 degree heat during the summer months!
CBP has done Yeoman's work in stemming the tide of illegal drugs and immigrants at the border and the inland checkpoints
across Tx,NM Az, and Ca. What is needed is boots on the ground,CBP agents,not military units from the National Guard.

New York City is a hub of international commence,if the North(Hudson)river tubes fail,both national and international
economies will be effected with ripples effecting the local economy!

That seems to be what this"deal maker" President has forgotten!
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

electricron
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Re: So Mr Trump says...

Post by electricron »

Pitting politics aside, as both parties have had chances in the past to fund both the wall and the tunnels and have failed to do so to date. There must be something else that has prevented both being done besides politics. I believe that something else is that both are money pits you will pour money into and never ever reach bottom.

You build a wall, then you will want to improve it to make it better. Much like the Interstate Highway System, we are always spending more to make it better. The same can be said for the new tunnels. after spending to build the new tunnels, who is going to pay the bill to refurbish the old tunnels? After refurbsihing the old tunnels. who is going to pay the bill to expand NY's Pennsylvania Station? Who is going to pay the bill to double track the NEC all the way between Newark and New York City? It would be foolish to expand capacity without expanding capacity for everything even remotely associated.

With the Interstate Highway System, only the initial construction was financed with a 90% Federal 10% State formula. Later reconstruction and maintenance has returned to the more traditional 60-40 or 50-50 split. NY, NJ, and the USA haven't decided the funding splits for these related projects expenses today nor in the future. So all three of them see all these projects as huge never ending money pits that make future DOT budgets unsustainable. You can not keep throwing huge amounts of money at just a few projects forever without affecting all other projects in their budgets.

I have suggested this in the past as a way to move forward. Here it comes again. Build one new tunnel that would allow taking one old tunnel out of service so it can be refurbished. Then refurbished the second old tunnel. When the work is complete, there will be only a 50% increase of trackage and a much lower "need" to double the expansion of the NEC between Newark and NYC and double the capacity of NY's Pennsylvania Station. All future costs of related projects are lowered.

Budgets can remain sustainable for a series of expensive projects that come to an end after just a few years. Budgets can not be sustainable for a series of expensive projects that take forever to accomplish. Look at CHSR as an other example, California was willing to take the budget hits for it for around a decade or so, but the project is so big it is going to take forever to build. Even a Democrat governor was unwilling to burden his DOT budget for a specific project over that long a time. That's why both political parties have failed to fund this for over a decade, and why they keep kicking that can down the road.

mtuandrew
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Re: So Mr Trump says...

Post by mtuandrew »

To what Ron says, other countries building HSR systems “benefited” from having brownfield sites (destroyed by war), autocratic governments (left of socialist or right of nationalist) willing to use their power to take properties for the perceived public good, infusions of money from the United States and Canada in particular (and to a degree, money and equipment to Russian and Chinese client states), or all three. The USA hasn’t had those “advantages” being on top of the food chain.

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Re: So Mr Trump says...

Post by Jeff Smith »

'nuf politics. Thanks everyone. Let's keep it to the Gateway thread and actual developments/work. That does include, of course, the President saying no dinero, but I think we've kind of exhausted that topic...
Next stop, Willoughby
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Tadman
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by Tadman »

mtuandrew wrote:I do like parks, and to that I challenge the Friends of Liberty State Park to propose a purpose for the park as more than a jumping-off point for Statue cruises. It’s a lot of underused lawn and a decaying train shed right now, and as a historian who’s done some preservation and green space work, that’s an inefficient use of the land for either recreation or transportation.
Agreed completely. The definition and purpose of parks is very vague these days. It kind of reminds me of frequent "we must preserve everything at all costs" mantra some rail buffs have, which is ultimately harmful.

With regard to CNJ Terminal, It seems like an affinity group now has control of what was once (and could be again) a vital transportation asset and is not using or even preserving it wisely. I'd rather see the space redeveloped as a train station or transportation hub that respects the heritage of the site than being a metaphorical boat anchor for preservation dollars.

Consider the case of old terminals in great shape versus decaying terminals - they only rot when we quit running trains to them (Detroit, Buffolo) or when they are completely perverted (NYP, CUS eastern concourse). There are plenty of historic terminals in great shape because the tenant railroads and shopkeepers pay to keep them up! Consider LAUPT, Grand Central, Toronto Central Station, SFO Ferry building, etc...
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ExCon90
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by ExCon90 »

The idea of using the CNJ terminal as a safety valve for PABT makes sense, if a ferry service could handle the passenger flow getting off the buses, but I don't see any way of getting trains back into the terminal. The cost of again bridging Newark Bay with a 4-track movable span--even if permitted--would go some way toward digging two new tunnels to Manhattan.

JimBoylan
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by JimBoylan »

What about using the Lehigh Valley's bridge across Newark Bay? The LV commuter terminal shared a property line with the North side of the CNJ terminal, and LV commuters just walked next door to use the CNJ ferries.

Gilbert B Norman
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by Gilbert B Norman »

If the Tunnels "spring a leak", and the Acela need terminate at Newark then there goes the greatest commercial success Amtrak has enjoyed. Lest we forget, Amtrak didn't become #1 in the NY-Wash market until the Acela. Unable to directly serve NY?, the taxicabs and Livery cars will be heading to LGA, and not NYP.

I still think that if a "toll" were imposed upon the trains, agency notwithstanding, using the existing and Gateway tunnels, and there was "transparent" accounting, the Federal funding will go down on that F-150 driving, Fox News watching, MAGA believing, taxpayer in Lander.

R36 Combine Coach
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by R36 Combine Coach »

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Lest we forget, Amtrak didn't become #1 in the NY-Wash market until the Acela. Unable to directly serve NY?, the taxicabs and Livery cars will be heading to LGA, and not NYP.
Didn't the Metroliner beat the Eastern Shuttle too?

And the cabs and livery might headed to HOB instead...
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Ridgefielder
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by Ridgefielder »

JimBoylan wrote:What about using the Lehigh Valley's bridge across Newark Bay? The LV commuter terminal shared a property line with the North side of the CNJ terminal, and LV commuters just walked next door to use the CNJ ferries.
That was what I was thinking in suggesting a temporary ferry transfer terminal at Greenville Yard. It would be a straight shot in over the LV for Raritan Valley trains.

andrewjw
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by andrewjw »

PATH capacity could be increased by running only Newark-WTC and HOB-33rd trains and providing free transfers to HBLR and the NYC Subway for those needing to get between. By far the easiest emergency service plan (note, an emergency service plan means no new construction) would be to terminate northbound Newark Penn NJT at Newark (PATH to WTC), all Newark Broad at Hoboken (PATH to 33rd), and Amtrak at SEC (with dedicated bus shuttles; converting the middle Lincoln tunnel to bus-only at all times; or take PATH to WTC).

ExCon90
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by ExCon90 »

Ridgefielder wrote:
JimBoylan wrote:What about using the Lehigh Valley's bridge across Newark Bay? The LV commuter terminal shared a property line with the North side of the CNJ terminal, and LV commuters just walked next door to use the CNJ ferries.
That was what I was thinking in suggesting a temporary ferry transfer terminal at Greenville Yard. It would be a straight shot in over the LV for Raritan Valley trains.
There would be a lot of freight-train "interference" between Cranford and the east end of the bridge. What I'm really concerned about is the sheer volume of passengers to be handled--it would tax any of the existing ferry terminals. I wonder how many North Jersey passengers and New Yorkers using the Port Jervis and Pascack Valley services would choose the new TZB to Tarrytown on the Hudson Line? Capacity and parking problems there too, of course.

R36 Combine Coach
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by R36 Combine Coach »

ExCon90 wrote:There would be a lot of freight-train "interference" between Cranford and the east end of the bridge. What I'm really concerned about is the sheer volume of passengers to be handled--it would tax any of the existing ferry terminals. I wonder how many North Jersey passengers and New Yorkers using the Port Jervis and Pascack Valley services would choose the new TZB to Tarrytown on the Hudson Line? Capacity and parking problems there too, of course.
Already RVL operates on Conrail trackage, with freight having priority.
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Backshophoss
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Re: Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

Post by Backshophoss »

The original CNJ route is severed,that "infamous" drawbridge is long gone, Jersey City Terminal is also severed from the CRSA trackage.
CRSA/NS/CSX Oak Island Yard is congested,there would be a new wye track needed at CP Green,to head north to the old jct at CNJ
Communipaw to reach the Jersey City Terminal headhouse.

As for the B&O/SIRT/now SIRY to the ferry slips at St George,everything east of Arington Yard to St George would need to be rebuilt,
and need the blessings from PANYNJ(AK Bridge) and MTA to run the service.
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

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