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Thread: Hudson Rail Tunnel - Access to the Regionís Core (ARC)

  1. #16
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    What about making the train more liuke what was mentioned earlier? More of a path train than a mass transit train.

    Link NYC to NJ a bit more than through Hoboken and JC. be able to get on a car at 33rd street and take it across to the javitz, then across to Weehawken and from Weehawken down to Hoboken.

    Everybody keeps talking about the "light rail" but I don't see much coming from that besides the moving of JC residents to the mall. :P

  2. #17

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    January 13, 2005

    New in the Cellar at Macy's: A Tunnel to New Jersey?

    By PATRICK McGEEHAN




    Pedestrians crossed yesterday at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue, where a rail tunnel to Midtown from New Jersey is proposed by transportation agencies.

    An influential group of New York business leaders has thrown its weight behind a plan to build a $5 billion rail tunnel under the Hudson River that would bring commuters to a new train station at the foot of Macy's flagship store on 34th Street.

    The directors of the Partnership for New York City, concerned about relying on century-old infrastructure for getting their employees to work, decided late last year that the proposed tunnel should be a priority for government financing, said Kathryn S. Wylde, president and chief executive of the partnership.

    Before that, Ms. Wylde said, the city's business leaders were not convinced that New York needed another hole in the ground.

    But after hearing from officials of New Jersey Transit as well as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the partnership changed its list of priorities for 2005, saying that building the tunnel is as critical to the economy of New York as a new transit hub downtown and an extension of the No. 7 subway to the Far West Side, she said.

    "The commuter tunnels under the Hudson are a lifeline for hundreds of Manhattan businesses, both in terms of bringing employees in from New Jersey and in terms of their work forces moving back and forth between locations," Ms. Wylde said. She added that the group decided that "a commuter rail tunnel into 34th Street would be a significant benefit to the New York economy and would provide an important service to maximize the value of the commercial development sites on the Far West Side."

    Swaying the group, whose board includes the chairmen of American Express, J. P. Morgan Chase and Federated Department Stores, could give the tunnel plan a fighting chance in competing against a growing list of transportation projects. Drawing boards around the region are filled with multibillion-dollar ideas, including a rail tunnel from Lower Manhattan to Brooklyn and a freight-train tunnel under New York Harbor.

    "We can't build them all at once," said Anthony R. Coscia, chairman of the Port Authority.

    Mr. Coscia said that the Hudson tunnel plan, also known as Access to the Region's Core, or ARC, "should be the region's priority," and he pledged to advocate "a significant contribution" from his agency. Much of the money should come from the federal government, Mr. Coscia said, but local sources would have to provide at least $2 billion and the Port Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority should be among them.

    Mr. Coscia and George D. Warrington, the executive director of New Jersey Transit, have rounded up support from politicians west of the Hudson, including New Jersey's acting governor, Richard J. Codey, and its two United States senators, Frank R. Lautenberg and Jon S. Corzine. Mr. Warrington has also been calling on business and community leaders in New York to pitch the unusual notion of letting an out-of-state agency like New Jersey Transit dig into Manhattan and build a train station under 34th Street, between Avenue of the Americas and Eighth Avenue.

    "You can't play in their sandbox without a lot of consultation," Mr. Warrington said, sitting at the head of a conference table in the New Jersey Transit headquarters in downtown Newark.

    New Jersey Transit operates trains that carry more than 40,000 commuters under the Hudson and into Pennsylvania Station each weekday morning. Three of every four new jobs in Manhattan are being filled by people who live across the river, Mr. Warrington said, but the commuter train system is almost at full capacity. In the decade it would take to build the tunnel, New Jersey Transit could run out of space on its trains and its platforms at Penn Station, he said.

    "There really isn't an appreciation out there for how tenuous, how fragile, the entire system is," Mr. Warrington said.

    But he is working on that. With a PowerPoint presentation about the commuter crunch, he has ventured off his home turf to reach out to every organization that might help or hurt his cause. His tour made one of its first stops in a Macy's conference room in late September. There, Mr. Warrington and some of his top assistants offered an early glimpse of the station plan to representatives of the Midtown business community.

    "We were shocked at how far along they were in their planning," said Daniel A. Biederman, president of the 34th Street Partnership. After hearing that the station could be built from below, with little disruption of activity at street level, the audience deemed it "a clever plan," he said.

    As currently imagined, the station would be like a subway station with several platforms, directly below 34th Street, extending to just east of Seventh Avenue from Eighth Avenue. Commuters would be able to connect underground to Penn Station and several subway lines or ascend to the street near Macy's and Herald Square.

    It would effectively double the number of trains and passengers that could travel in from New Jersey and points north and west, and planners hope it will take many riders and drivers out of the buses and cars that clog the George Washington Bridge and the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels.

    In the last 10 years, New Jersey Transit has more than doubled the number of trains going into Manhattan during the morning rush, to 186 last year from 88 in 1994. But the existing tracks, in use since 1910, cannot accommodate any more, said Richard T. Roberts, New Jersey Transit's chief planner. Every weekend, one of the tracks in the existing tunnel, which runs to Penn Station from North Bergen, N.J., has to be shut down for maintenance, he said.

    The tunnel would yield economic benefits too, Mr. Roberts said. A study that the agency commissioned estimated the project could create 44,000 permanent jobs in the region and increase its economic output by more than $9 billion by 2025.

    Those numbers spurred the interest of the Partnership for New York City, said Ms. Wylde, who acknowledged the political hazards of backing the plan in the midst of a chess match among various city and state interests.

    "For New York to support a New Jersey project is difficult because we're competing for scarce resources," Ms. Wylde said. "We still see this primarily as a New Jersey initiative, but one that deserves regional support. We would urge New York and New Jersey to work together on the ARC project."

    Mr. Coscia and Mr. Warrington still have work to do on that front. Charles A. Gargano, a vice chairman for the Port Authority, said last week that the tunnel and station "could be a project of the future."

    But, he added: "It's certainly not in the immediate plans. We only have so many projects we can handle at one time. I'm not being negative, but we have to be realistic."

    At the moment, Mr. Gargano has other transportation plans on his mind. He is leading the drive for the expansion of Penn Station into the James A. Farley Post Office across Eighth Avenue, a move that Mr. Warrington agrees is needed. Mr. Gargano is also pushing for one of Gov. George E. Pataki's favorite ideas - digging a tunnel under the East River that would provide a direct rail link to the Wall Street area from Long Island and Kennedy International Airport.

    That project would cost $6 billion, and Mr. Pataki and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg are trying to ensure its future with $2 billion of unused federal tax credits that were earmarked to rebuild downtown after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack. They also expect to get $560 million for it from the Port Authority and another $400 million from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

    "We will have almost $3 billion for this project," Mr. Gargano said. "Right now, I don't see that for ARC."


    George D. Warrington, New Jersey Transit's executive director, has met with business leaders in New York.

    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

  3. #18
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    I have 2 concerns with this project:

    1. do we really need another station next to penn station?

    2. does this project take into account the fact that penn station will be moving to the other side of 8th avenue at some point in the future? (assuming that the answer to 1 is a yes)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deimos
    I have 2 concerns with this project:

    1. do we really need another station next to penn station?

    2. does this project take into account the fact that penn station will be moving to the other side of 8th avenue at some point in the future? (assuming that the answer to 1 is a yes)
    That is a good point, and I am surprised they never mentioned the Farley building being a potential hub itself rather than build a new terminal.

  5. #20

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    The "terminal" may just be an underground complex, with links to Penn Station and the subways.

    A good drawing of Penn Station underground is on page 2 of the New Penn Station thread.

  6. #21
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    So all the platforms at a Moynihan station would be used thus making this seperate complex necessary?

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    They're talking about this right now on WNYC...

    http://www.wnyc.org/

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyo
    They're talking about this right now on WNYC...

    http://www.wnyc.org/
    what did they say?

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    They talked about this tunnel expansion and the proposed ship terminal in Redhook. This tunnel expansion was labeled having more impact on the economy than the LIRR/JFK rail link to lower manhattan.

    There was a lot said - mostly speculative, and it turned into almost entirely Redhook discussion as there is a lot of interest/concern there. They said it was extremely unlikely that a subway expansion would touch Redhook.

  10. #25

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    The ultimate solution to the New Jersey access problem is this: Build another Penn Station under the Farley building. Then give the old platforms to LIRR and the new terminal can go to NJT/Amtrak. Then split the NEC at secaucus to enter a tunnel at 44st where a new terminal for NJT/Amtrak trains under the main concourse of GCT, so as to not interfre with the MNR and LIRR. Then the whole access problem is solved.

  11. #26

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    February 9, 2005

    New Jersey Transit Is Set to Urge a New River Tunnel for a Commuter Link to Midtown

    By PATRICK McGEEHAN

    wo days after President Bush threw his financial support behind a rail link under the East River, New Jersey officials are to make a pitch today for a different rail tunnel, this one under the Hudson River.

    According to a study they plan to release today, New Jersey Transit officials believe a new tunnel into Manhattan from the west would increase economic activity in the region by $10 billion and add $480 million a year to its tax base by 2025. By then, a decade after its completion, the tunnel would have helped to create 44,000 jobs, two-thirds of them in New York, the report concludes.

    Those estimates were derived from projections of how many jobs would be generated in Midtown by the additional commuters the tunnel would carry. Transit officials said the current eastbound commuter rail system was nearing full capacity.

    The economic study is the latest salvo in the competition for federal and state money to pay for huge improvements to the region's transportation infrastructure. New Jersey officials are lining up to push for the rail tunnel, which would connect to a new station under 34th Street between Sixth and Eighth Avenues.

    The project, which would include improvements to North Jersey commuter lines, and the $5 billion that would be needed are a long way from reality and have some formidable rivals.

    New York's governor, George E. Pataki, is pressing for construction of a rail link between Lower Manhattan and Long Island that would speed travel between Kennedy Airport and downtown. That project, expected to cost $6 billion, got a boost this week when the Bush administration included $2 billion for it in the federal budget.

    That money, which would come out of a federal tax incentive package that was intended for redeveloping Lower Manhattan, is being lined up even though the plan's feasibility and economic and environmental impact have not been studied. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is already committed to paying $500 million of the construction costs of the downtown rail link if it proves feasible.

    "The numbers speak for themselves," said Charles A. Gargano, vice chairman of the Port Authority and a Pataki appointee. "With the president's proposal, we have $3 billion. That's about 50 percent of what the estimated cost is."

    Anthony R. Coscia, the chairman of the Port Authority, reiterated yesterday that he believed a new Hudson tunnel should have first priority among mass transit plans because "it does actually provide more for the region than any of the other projects." Mr. Coscia was appointed by James E. McGreevey, the former governor of New Jersey.

    Robert D. Yaro, the president of the Regional Plan Association, said he considered a new Hudson tunnel to be critical to continued expansion of New York's employment base. He added that he also supported the plan to improve rail connections between Manhattan and Long Island and to build a Second Avenue subway.

    "The problem here is we haven't built any new capacity in 60 years," Mr. Yaro said. "This is going to come down to having the funding in place and having the political will in place to do these things."

    The study, which was conducted for New Jersey Transit by Economics Research Associates, says the entire region would grow during and after the building of the tunnel and proposed improvements to commuter rail lines in North Jersey.

    Over the 10 years that the study estimates the project would take to complete, it would create an average of 3,920 construction jobs each year, according to the report. During that period, the regional economy would grow by $4.5 billion and the income of the region's residents would increase by $2.7 billion, the report estimates.

    Once the construction is completed, the ability to bring in more workers would help the economy to grow much faster and benefits would spread from Hunterdon County in western New Jersey to Fairfield County in Connecticut, the report says.

    Outside of New York City, the part of the region that would benefit the most would be an area covering four counties in North Jersey: Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Passaic. Over the first 10 years of its use, the tunnel would help to create an average of 1,475 jobs and add $157 million to the economy in that area each year, the study says. A four-county area to the west, comprising Morris, Sussex, Hunterdon and Warren, would receive only about 10 percent as much benefit, it says.

    Although the aim of the project would be to increase and improve rail access between Manhattan and the west side of the Hudson, the report says Westchester County and Fairfield County would get significant benefits, including an average annual increase in personal income in both counties of $26 million. That gain would come from Midtown jobs for residents of those counties, said Richard T. Roberts, chief planner for New Jersey Transit.

    "They get a proportionate share of the new jobs in New York City," Mr. Roberts said. "The real message is this is a bistate project that benefits New York in a number of ways."

    Mr. Coscia said the best argument for the Hudson tunnel is what will not happen without it. "If we don't build this tunnel, we're going to eliminate the potential for growth, add to congestion and ultimately the region will suffer, not just New Jersey," he said.

    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

  12. #27
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    Some Say Macy's Tunnel Doesn't Go Far Enough

    By PATRICK McGEEHAN

    Published: July 28, 2005

    The idea of another train tunnel under the Hudson River came a step closer to reality yesterday, but not without impassioned arguments against its ending at a station below Macy's flagship store in Midtown.

    New Jersey Transit's board unanimously approved the proposed route of the tunnel, which would run 15 feet beneath the bed of the Hudson to Midtown from northern New Jersey. The approval was a prerequisite to seeking federal financing for the project, whose cost is estimated to be $6 billion.

    Officials of the transit agency have been stumping for the plan for years, arguing that the 95-year-old tunnel it shares with Amtrak is nearing capacity and will not be able to handle the projected population growth west of the Hudson. The existing two-track tunnel ends at Pennsylvania Station, a block south of where New Jersey Transit wants to build a station as far as 100 feet below 34th Street.

    Nobody who spoke at the agency's board meeting disputed the need for another tunnel, which actually would be twin tunnels, each with a single track. But several insisted that the tunnel should reach farther, to Grand Central Terminal, to deliver commuters closer to their East Side offices. They also questioned the safety of tens of thousands of riders unloading and loading on platforms several stories below ground.

    "The plan is costly and inconvenient for rail passengers," said George Haikalis, chairman of the Regional Rail Working Group and a resident of Greenwich Village. He said that "constructing a deep cavern station under Macy's" would pose "significant risks to passengers."

    A representative of the New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers, Albert Papp Jr., assailed the plans for the West Side station and a new terminal for the Long Island Rail Road that would be built beneath Grand Central.

    "We don't need two more stations in Manhattan," said Mr. Papp, who urged the directors to postpone a decision and meet with other transit agencies to develop a regional solution to transporting more commuters to and from Manhattan.

    But New Jersey Transit's executive director, George D. Warrington, said he had already ruled out seeking permission from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to connect the tunnel to Grand Central, in part because it would sharply inflate the project's cost. That estimate has already increased from the original $4 billion projection, he said.

    "You have to be practical and realistic about what you can do," Mr. Warrington said. "That extension adds billions of dollars to the project. We've got to bite off what we can."

    He said the proposed station site also fits with the goals of New York's mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, and his deputy, Daniel L. Doctoroff, who have championed the redevelopment of the area west of Penn Station.

    Mr. Warrington received the support of the Regional Plan Association, a research group that had favored having trains run through the tunnel, then loop counterclockwise through a few new rail stations spread around Midtown.

    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

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    Mr. Warrington received the support of the Regional Plan Association, a research group that had favored having trains run through the tunnel, then loop counterclockwise through a few new rail stations spread around Midtown.
    Interesting concept, definitely good for economic development.

    How will this proposed new station appear aboveground? Is it expected to be entirely subterannean?

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    New rail stations: bad idea. There has to be some way to use Grand Central or Moynihan station.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyO
    New rail stations: bad idea. There has to be some way to use Grand Central or Moynihan station.
    I disagree on the first point and agree on the second. NJT is at the disadvantage that it only uses one terminal in Manhattan, and even then its concourse is small compared to those of LIRR or even Amtrak. This is while the New Jersey suburbs continue to boom while mature suburbs in Westchester, Connecticut and Long Island have grown much less rapidly, if at all.

    A new terminal at Herald Square and the multiple subway and other transit lines there allows for a more convenient commute to the rest of Midtown for NJT customers. It's key to New York's economic future, possibly even more so than East Side Access. Perhaps there will be an eventual connection to Grand Central, but it's not a priority now.

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