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On Monday, Amtrak, government and local officials broke ground on the Hudson Yards right-of-way preservation project, which is designed to secure a pathway for future Hudson River rail tunnels to connect with Penn Station in New York City, Amtrak announced on its blog.The project is part of Amtrak's Gateway Program, a series of infrastructure projects that will double train capacity between Newark, N.J., and Penn Station. The projects include two new rail tunnels that will run under the Hudson River."Because of a massive mixed-use development project going up at Hudson Yards on the West Side of Manhattan, Amtrak had to jump into action and secure the pathway for future underground rail tunnels, before the structural columns of large office and residential buildings block the pathway forever," Amtrak's blog states.Currently, 450 commuter and intercity trains enter Penn Station each day from New Jersey. The Gateway Program will double Amtrak's intercity rail services.In addition, the tunnel modernization will help protect the system from future storms like Hurricane Sandy, which devastated parts of the Northeast coast in October 2012.The Gateway Program also will support Amtrak's high-speed rail expansion, the blog states.
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