What the hell is wrong with them? Most tunnels last forever. Were these tunnels just built really, really badly? I doubt it.
Let's not forget that those tunnels are marching towards 150 years old.
The Hudson tunnels were flooded with salt water. Plus, they're iron tubes buried in mud. That's a real problem.
The B&P tunnels are carved out of stone. Most tunnels of this sort are *extremely durable*. And they were relined in the 1980s, with drainage improved.
Sure, they're slow and form a delay point on the NEC, but they're *just fine* and will last another 100 years with standard maintenance. Is anyone really claiming they'll collapse?
So spend 4 billion to increase capacity on the NEC and save a couple of minutes? Nice to have, but not a high priority.
Do something useful with that money: spend it on buying the NY Central and Pennsy mainlines from NS and CSX so we can start making some real progress on NY-Chicago passenger rail.
I don't see how anyone can honestly expect Congress to invest $100 Billion or so making the NEC a true HSR route. Those who argue to drop the rest of Amtrak and concentrate everything on the NEC are playing a trick: Without spending spread around across the country, there will be NO passenger rail spending at all, so good-bye to all of Amtrak, NEC included.
It is a trick, yes. Heck, I live 230 miles from the NEC and I would not be interested in supporting endless billions for miniscule travel time improvements on the NEC and nothing for the rest of the country. Empire Corridor? Keystone Corridor? Virginia Corridors?
Edited by neroden, 22 June 2015 - 12:52 PM.