Amtrak exec lays out case for $14B rail project

Amtrak Executive Vice President, Stephen Gardner, presented his case Monday at the Statehouse in Trenton for the construction of two additional Hudson River tunnels.

His testimony came in the wake of massive delays last month along the Northeast Corridor on tracks also used by NJ Transit.

The delays were attributed to electrical problems and issues with the track.

But, the real issue is that the tunnels are over 100 years old and need to be replaced.

The $14 billion Gateway project not only includes fixing these tunnels, but it also will add two additional train tunnels under the Hudson.

This could ultimately double train capacity in and out of New York City.

The rail project would rely 80% on Federal funding.

However, Governor Chris Christie killed a similar project in 2010.

“It’s Amtrak’s interest to start the most critical aspects of Gateway program immediately,” Gardener stated.

Senator Robert M. Gordon, (D) NJ District 38, believes this project is similar to the Panama Canal.

“I happen to be reading a biography of Teddy Roosevelt. He saw this as a project that would be used a hundred years later,” Senator Gordon said.

According to Gardner, if this project began this fall, the environmental and design studies for the Hudson tunnels would take roughly four years to complete.

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