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Rail News: Passenger Rail

FTA commits $1.35 billion for early construction work on NJ Transit's Access to the Region's Core


Yesterday, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced it approved a $1.35 billion Early Systems Work Agreement (ESWA) for New Jersey Transit. The funding enabled the agency to break ground on the Access to the Region's Core project.

The agreement includes $650 million in federal funds, a portion of which were allocated through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, matched by an equal amount of local funding. The ESWA will help NJ Transit keep the project on schedule and within budget by freeing up federal and local funds for tunneling and related construction work.

The ESWA serves as a down payment on a $3 billion Full Funding Grant Agreement for the project — the largest New Starts grant to be awarded in the program's 33-year history, according to the FTA.

The $8.7 billion, nine-mile Access to the Region's Core project includes two new tunnels under the Hudson River, new tracks between Secaucus Junction and New York's Penn Station, and a new rail station beneath 34th Street in Manhattan. The project will enable NJ Transit to double rail service into Manhattan, free up capacity for Amtrak, and reduce travel times and crowding on trains at Penn Station.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/9/2009