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Rail News: Amtrak

PANYNJ advances Gateway rail tunnel project


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's (PANYNJ) board last week officially agreed to partner with the federal government in the development of a new Hudson River rail tunnel system by creating a development corporation to oversee the project's construction.

The board authorized the agency's executive director to consult with the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Amtrak to report as soon as possible any additional steps that are necessary, such as further study to establish the Gateway Development Corp., PANYNJ officials said in a press release.

The corporation will have board representation from New York and New Jersey via the Port Authority, and the federal government will be represented by USDOT and Amtrak. An authority designee will chair the corporation, which will coordinate with key regional agencies such as New Jersey Transit.

The board also called on authority staff to identify federal grants and financing options to pay for the project, which could cost around $20 billion, according to estimates reported in news media.

The existing Amtrak Hudson tunnels, which Amtrak and NJ Transit trains use to transport riders between New Jersey and Manhattan, are more than 100 years old and are deteriorating. Their decrepit condition was further damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.