Jump to content


Attention: In order to reply to messages, create topics, have access to other features of the community you must sign up for an account.
Sign in to follow this  
metsfan

Work begins on nation's largest mass transit project

Recommended Posts

By Steve Kastenbaum

CNN Radio Correspondent

 

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The largest mass transit project in the country got under way Monday with the help of federal stimulus dollars, as public officials broke ground on a second passenger rail tunnel beneath the Hudson River.

 

Work on the country's largest mass transit project began Monday.

 

The new tunnel will link New Jersey with New York and eventually will double capacity on the nation's busiest rail corridor, running from Washington to Boston, Massachusetts, officials said.

 

Officials participated in the groundbreaking for the $8.7 billion project as commuter trains passed behind them in North Bergen, New Jersey, before entering the existing train tunnel, which went into operation in 1908.

 

"As we start digging this tunnel, I think that what really it means, we are digging our way out of an economic crisis," said Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey. "As we're getting under way, we're seeing the dividends of the Recovery Act being paid right now."

 

The Department of Transportation announced Monday that it will commit $3 billion to the project over its lifespan. Of that, $130 million is coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the department said..

 

It is the largest commitment to any transportation project anywhere in the United States in the history of the Department of Transportation, according to administrator Peter Rogoff of the Federal Transportation Administration.

 

"This is what President Obama means by recovery. It means putting people back to work now to improve the lives of so many others for years to come," Rogoff said.

 

The project -- known as ARC, for Access to the Region's Core -- is expected to create 6,000 design and construction jobs.

 

"This is going to promote mobility, reduce commuter congestion, staunch carbon emissions, enhance regional competitiveness and lay a foundation for an extraordinary expansion of mass transit in the most densely populate state in the nation, New Jersey," New Jersey Gov. John Corzine said.

 

New Jersey Transit says 170,000 passengers now travel through the existing train tunnel beneath the Hudson River to New York each day. When completed, the second tunnel will enable that figure to increase to 255,000 passenger trips. The additional passengers will disembark at a new concourse to be built at Penn Station in New York, 150 feet below street level.

----------------------------------------------

 

 

Wow, finally it's known outside our little railfan circle!

 

- A

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this tunnel going to run relatively parallel to the North River Tunnels?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So wait, the terminal will be on 9th Avenue and 34th street (it said blocks away from Penn station, and it said they couldn't expand east because of water tunnel #3)? Thats sort of out of the way.

 

And whats Monihyan station?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So wait, the terminal will be on 9th Avenue and 34th street (it said blocks away from Penn station, and it said they couldn't expand east because of water tunnel #3)? Thats sort of out of the way.

 

And whats Monihyan station?

 

Firstly, the new station is lower in the ground and to the side (north) one block away (34th & 35th) from the current penn station (31st-33rd). The lower of 2 levels is blocked by water tunnel number 1, and cannot be extended. The upper level could be extended to GCT for pass-thru service. If water tunnel 1 is totally taken out of service forever, both levels could have a connection to GCT then out through the ESA to sunnyside yard. MNRR, LIRR and amtk trains could also use this. If the pass-thru is made, even with one set of tracks and not 2 levels, it will drastically alter the way people get into, and go through nyc by train. It will basically double capacity.

 

Secondly, the other station mentioned is an idea for making the post office into a pseudo-old penn station before they demolished it for the air rights. I personally oppose this idea, and would prefer 2 penn plaza be razed to make a new above ground station building. They could then build a replacement office tower over part of the west side yards.

 

- A

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Firstly, the new station is lower in the ground and to the side (north) one block away (34th & 35th) from the current penn station (31st-33rd). The lower of 2 levels is blocked by water tunnel number 1, and cannot be extended. The upper level could be extended to GCT for pass-thru service. If water tunnel 1 is totally taken out of service forever, both levels could have a connection to GCT then out through the ESA to sunnyside yard. MNRR, LIRR and amtk trains could also use this. If the pass-thru is made, even with one set of tracks and not 2 levels, it will drastically alter the way people get into, and go through nyc by train. It will basically double capacity.

 

Secondly, the other station mentioned is an idea for making the post office into a pseudo-old penn station before they demolished it for the air rights. I personally oppose this idea, and would prefer 2 penn plaza be razed to make a new above ground station building. They could then build a replacement office tower over part of the west side yards.

 

- A

 

Oh I see.

 

And yes, I agree. My dream would be for MSG and that other office building to comedown, and have a new building built exactly like the old Penn Station.

 

Unfortunately, thats probably not happening in my lifetime :cry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can the upper level connect with the East River Tunnel?

 

No, there is a branch of water tunnel 2 and several basements & subway lines in the way. It can only turn north, not rise up to meet the east river tunnels. Plus, if you connected them, if there was ever a tunnel breach, it would leave the entire NY-NJ connection flooded, including platform level at penn station cutting off LIRR, (NJT) and amtk access from both sides. It would be a very bad day for rail transportation if that happened. Best to leave them unrelated & unconnected.

 

- A

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No, there is a branch of water tunnel 2 and several basements & subway lines in the way. It can only turn north, not rise up to meet the east river tunnels. Plus, if you connected them, if there was ever a tunnel breach, it would leave the entire NY-NJ connection flooded, including platform level at penn station cutting off LIRR, (NJT) and amtk access from both sides. It would be a very bad day for rail transportation if that happened. Best to leave them unrelated & unconnected.

 

- A

Ouch! I guess it's best to turn GCT into a through terminal after all. Once the ESA is complete, would the LIRR only go to GCT?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ouch! I guess it's best to turn GCT into a through terminal after all. Once the ESA is complete, would the LIRR only go to GCT?

 

Oh no no no. The ESA is just that, access. It's not meant at all in any way to replace service from penn station, the GCT LIRR tracks dead end, there is no storage area. NYP has the ramp tracks up to the west side yard.

 

When the new station is built for (NJT), LIRR trains wouldn't go there, they would stay in their original moves & to GCT. However, MNRR trains may end up using both the new station and the old one once the M8's start running. Amtrak & (MTA) are also looking at putting overhead wire up the west side line. (MTA) and amtk could thenm get alp-45's to run trains up the hudson line. There are no plans to put 3rd rail in the tunnel.

 

I guess all we can do is wait & see.

 

- A

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait, are you saying that the 34th St station will connect to the Freedom Tunnel? But as for the NH line's M8s using the Freedom Tunnel to access Penn Station, wouldn't there be no direct connection since the tracks only go north? Even though bottom contact third is outdated presently, I think it would be much more efficient than overhead lines at 12.5kv since it favors MNRR at not distributing the M8s just for a short section along the Freedom Tunnel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11 Safari/525.20)

 

Wait, are you saying that the 34th St station will connect to the Freedom Tunnel? But as for the NH line's M8s using the Freedom Tunnel to access Penn Station, wouldn't there be no direct connection since the tracks only go north? Even though bottom contact third is outdated presently, I think it would be much more efficient than overhead lines at 12.5kv since it favors MNRR at not distributing the M8s just for a short section along the Freedom Tunnel.

 

 

The west side line should get catenary to allow electric service from nyp to the Hudson line. The top of the new station is 50 feet below the bottom of the current track level at NYP. It is a deep level station unrelated to north river or east river or empire tunnel. The west side line would make an awesome alternate for when amtrak has east river tunnel problems. All we can do is wait and see.

 

- A

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11 Safari/525.20)

 

 

 

The west side line should get catenary to allow electric service from nyp to the Hudson line. The top of the new station is 50 feet below the bottom of the current track level at NYP. It is a deep level station unrelated to north river or east river or empire tunnel. The west side line would make an awesome alternate for when amtrak has east river tunnel problems. All we can do is wait and see.

 

- A

 

In that case, they should build connection tracks at Sputyen Duyvil and where the New Haven Line joins in so Amtrak doesn't have to actually reverse to go from the West Side to Boston.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Originally, the ARC project was designed to serve several purposes. First, the plan intended to create another tunnel into New York. There were other important goals, including providing New Jersey commuters access to the Grand Central Terminal and the East Side of Manhattan, creating a backup tunnel for Amtrak that would service Penn Station or the new Moynihan Station, and enabling trains to travel from one area of the metropolitan region to another. For example, the original design allowed trains from Long Island to pass through New Jersey and vice versa.

Unfortunately, this tunnel now only meets the first of those goals and not the other four. Instead of connecting to Penn Station or the new Moynihan Station, the tunnel dead ends 180 feet below the ground, two blocks from Penn Station. Because of this, some now call this project "the tunnel to Macy's basement."

By being located so deep below ground, this tunnel may deter people from using it and could be a risk in the event of an emergency. It will take passengers five to 10 minutes longer to get to the surface and even longer to get to Penn Station. As proposed, to get to ground level, passengers will have to travel the equivalent of 20 stories via a series of escalators that will be longer than two football fields. This labyrinth of tunnels will be more reminiscent of a corn maze than a train station.

Besides the long travel time getting to ground level and the added risk during an emergency, the configuration will be confusing. For example, NJT will continue to use Penn Station in addition to the tunnel station. At rush hour, when many trains are coming and departing, this may generate confusion among passengers who will have to determine if they are leaving from Penn Station or the tunnel station two blocks away.

Once customers figure out their departure location, they will then have to navigate through the series of underground walkways. This complicated scenario also applies for those connecting to the LIRR, Metro-North ,or the NYC subway. One option NJT is considering in order to alleviate the confusion is to have all train lines go to Penn Station except the two Bergen Lines, which will use the new tunnel. The Bergen Line would then be the railroad from Xanadu to Macy's basement. This project seems more about pay to play and overdevelopment in the Meadowlands. There has been very little public input and virtually no local review by the communities impacted in New Jersey.

Currently, there are five major proposals for the expansion of train service in and out of Midtown Manhattan. Mayor Bloomberg is working to extend the (7), which will go right above this NJ Transit tunnel (Javits Ctr). The LIRR wants to provide access to the East Side. Sen. Schumer is pushing for the new Moynihan Station in Midtown. Congressman Nadler wants to establish a freight rail tunnel to displace traffic from the roads. Then there's this ARC tunnel proposal. Each project is actively seeking, federal dollars. $8 million already earmarked for the ARC project by Washington at this time.

The fact that all of these projects are within a few blocks of each other demonstrates the lack of collaboration that exists in improving the region's transportation. Instead of a cohesive plan, they have created a mishmash of disjointed ideas. The different organizations are acting like a bunch of children who don't want others to touch their train set. While all are good projects, none connect to each other or even consider each other in the planning.

Some of the options that should be considered to allow for East Side access would be to have a train station so passengers can connect with the (7) or design the tunnel so the <7> goes out to Secaucus Junction. The tunnel should meet up with the Moynihan station so as to allow through train access.

A coordinated plan for transportation is essential to improving public transportation access. NY Gov. Patterson and NJ Gov. Corzine, along with Mayor Bloomberg and Senators Schumer, Lautenberg, Menendez and Secretary of Transportation LaHood should sit down together and develop a comprehensive plan that constructively brings all of these projects together. The establishment of a regional transportation board, not five agencies that deal with transportation, should also be considered.

Through collaboration and consolidation, effective solutions, like linking tunnels to the new stations and allowing access for all regional rails, can be established. That would mean real access to the region's core, as was intended in the first place. A new rail tunnel is needed, but it must be done right. It took us 50 years to get to this point; we can't wait another 50 for an effective solution.

(NJT) :nec: :septa::

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info Broadway Line C/R! Do you know what is the name Moynihan Station named after? And also extending 7 to NJ sounds really crazy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.