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Gateway Project/NYP Capacity Improvement

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Guest vkristof
That is true. But with that being said, the Seven Extension would make more sense than the L Train Extension, since the Seven is being extended to the Javits Center.

 

Apparently, "Mr. Schumer vowed to “scour” the federal government for all available dollars, including bonds and loan programs, to help pay for the Gateway project." http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20130530/TRANSPORTATION/130539987

 

But even though the Gateway Project is urgently needed, what is a realistic amount Amtrak can receive from Washington for this project?

 

Sen. Schumer is good for bringing home the bacon.& I'm happy to see the Hudson Yards tunnel box staring actual construction/demolition now.

 

Since you posted in June we've had a little bit of public back and forth on federal funding in general between Gov Christie and Se. Paul.

 

IMHO "a realistic amount Amtrak can receive from Washington" is in a totally unrealastic political situation nowadays...

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Guest Andrew

"Since you posted in June, we have had a little bit of public back and forth on federal funding in general between Gov. Christie and Se. Paul."

 

What does this refer to?

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"Since you posted in June, we have had a little bit of public back and forth on federal funding in general between Gov. Christie and Se. Paul."

 

What does this refer to?

The recent tiff between Gov. Christie (NJ) and Senator Rand Paul (KY) which started with Sen Paul taking a swipe at NJ over the Hurricane Sandy relief funds. Christie pretty much smacked down Sen. Paul. All part of the early jostling (really early) for the 2016 Republican nomination. While entertaining from the bleacher seats, has nothing to do with the Gateway project or the tunnel box construction.

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Guest Andrew

Even though you think that Amtrak does not appear to be quite the most important topic in Washington, can Amtrak receive Gateway Funding from the next reauthorization bill?

Edited by Anderson

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The poster seems to want to turn this into a political discussion rather than an Amtrak discussion.

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Even though you think that Amtrak does not appear to be quite the most important topic in Washington, can Amtrak receive Gateway Funding from the next reauthorization bill?
No. Re-authorization bill can authorize all sorts of stuff, but an authorization bill cannot be used to appropriate in general. Without appropriation all the authorization in the world is not worth a hill of beans, and does not result in receiving any funding. Congress traditionally has never appropriated all the money that it authorized for Amtrak.

 

Also it is more than likely that a significant part of the funding that goes to Gateway won't even go to it through Amtrak and FRA. It is quite likely that a significant portion would come via FTA and State DOTs, which actually makes sense since the predominant user of the new facility will be state commuter railroads and not Amtrak.

 

Due to a historical accident, Amtrak happens to be stuck being the custodian of the infrastructure. That is why there is serious consideration being given to separate the infrastructure into a separate government funded neutral entity which will sell slots of various quality to various train operating companies including Amtrak, with pricing based on the quality of the slot. Amtrak can then go back to be being a train operating company, which was its original mission. And other train operating companies whether state funded or private funded or jointly funded could enter the open market of operating trains on routes of their choice. All of Europe has moved to this model, no reason that the US could not. My prediction is that there will be tectonic shifts in how passenger rail infrastructure and operations funded in the next five years, before any significant funding becomes available for Gateway. That is why it is even more unpredictable because it is not going to be business as usual, making it harder to even meaningfully speculate.

 

But no matter what, asking the same question in multiple threads is not going to magically produce a different answer. The bottom line is that it is too early to tell beyond idle and baseless speculation on things like the total amount and when and how it will become available. It is highly unlikely that there will be any significant funding action on Gateway until the NEC Commission works out some cost sharing deal among the states involved, as I have state in another thread where similar questions were asked by the same poster.

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The poster seems to want to turn this into a political discussion rather than an Amtrak discussion.

As both an AU member and as a moderator, I request that this discussion be confined to matters relating to Amtrak and/or trains or NYP only. I request that politics remain out of the conversation.

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I posted the link to the entire Tier 1 PEIS. I'd urge you to please go read the entire set of materials available thoroughly first. You will learn exactly what the goals and objectives are of the PEIS, and amazingly will be able to answer the question you ask above all by yourself! :)

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Guest Andrew

How many trains would the Gateway Tunnels handle without new platforms in Penn Station South?

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Extending the No. 7 train to Secaucus NJ is a valid concept, but will take a decade or two of studies, debate, politics, and figuring who pays for it before anything substantial happens. The MTA has a full plate with a huge backlog of system modernization & flood mitigation projects and the Second Avenue Subway follow-on phases. The paragraph in the article that caught my eye:

 

Having the two systems share a tunnel is not a new solution. The 63rd St. subway tunnel for the F train was built with two levels, one above the other. The Long Island Railroad extension to Grand Central Station will utilize the currently unused level of that tunnel.

 

By building one tunnel that can serve both the 7 train and Gateway, both projects will be able to advance when the first one proceeds, laying the foundation for future regional mobility and growth.

Really? Seriously?
Anyway, this article and the proposed No. 7 extension to NJ have little to do with Amtrak and the proposed Gateway project except at a regional transit planning level. We don't discuss the Second Avenue Subway project or the DC Metro Silver Line extension in the Amtrak forum. There is a transit forum for those subjects.
PS. I see Andrews was deleted by the moderators, so ignore the above.
Edited by afigg

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The article in the Daily News by Jerry Gottesman and Steven Spinola raises some issues worthy of discussion. The article in question can be found at:

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/extend-7-train-secaucus-article-1.1504464

 

It has been stated by some that there would be a funding conflict between any further extension of #7 with all that is already on the plate of MTA. From a funding angle this is not necessarily so. In all likelihood any extension of #7 to Secaucus will not involve any funding from MTA. The funding will come from somewhere else just like the funding for the current #7 extension. It was not from the MTA budget but from the city budget. MTA had basically said it can't be done until Bloomberg gave them a pile of cash and said - go do it, if you want to keep that money. So in principle there is little conflict as far as source of money goes between SAS and ESA etc. and whatever happens at the Hudson end of #7. In all likelihood funding for such a venture would involve the PANYNJ since it is their bailiwick - indeed one of their missions - to provide trans-Hudson transportation links.

 

But that discussion involving only #7 extension belongs in a different thread.

 

However, the primary thing that is proposed in that article actually places it squarely within the scope of this thread. The thing proposed is a combined tunnel with four segments, two of which are used for Amtrak/NJT and two for #7, similar to how the 63rd Street tunnel is set up. However there are technical issues with that. EPA and Army Corp of Engineers have summarily rejected the tunneling method that was used for the 63rd St. tunnel for use in case of Hudson because of the amount of buried environmentally hazardous stuff that sits in the river bed that no one wants to stir up. So using the cut, drop tunnel segments and cover method is out.

 

Given that it has to be a bored tunnel, the difficulty of boring a huge diameter tunnel large enough to encompass four tracks in 2x2 configuration presents its own challenges and cost elements which probably surpasses what it would cost to just bore four separate tunnels. The one with civil engineering in their professional expertise list here, is PRR60. maybe he can give us his perspective on this.

 

Anyway the implicit danger in what is proposed is that it will inevitably lead to possibly another 6 additional years of studies before anything can happen. At present the #7 proposal pretty much reuses the ARC EIS in toto for most of the Hudson tunnel alignment. The Gateway alignment is relatively well understood though still requires an EIS. And the two can proceed independent of each other on different time lines. This proposal mixes both up and puts a completely new and additional thing that must be studied starting from scratch.

 

It is almost like if I was trying to delay everything by many years while appearing to be well intentioned, I'd do something like this. :P

Edited by jis

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Guest Andrew

The artcile in the Daily News by Jerry Gottesman and Steven Spinola raises some issues worthy of discussion. The article in question can be found at:

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/extend-7-train-secaucus-article-1.1504464

 

It has been stated by some that there would be a funding conflict between any further extension of #7 with all that is already on the plate of MTA. From a funding angle this is not necessarily so. In all likelihood any extension of #7 to Secaucus will not involve any funding from MTA. The funding will come from somewhere else just like the funding for the current #7 extension. It was not from the MTA budget but from the city budget. MTA had basically said it can't be done until Bloomberg gave them a pile of cash and said - go do it, if you want to keep that money. So in principle there is little conflict as far as source of money goes between SAS and ESA etc. and whatever happens at the Hudson end of #7. In all likelihood funding for such a venture would involve the PANYNJ since it is their bailiwick - indeed one of their missions - to provide trans-Hudson transportation links.

 

But that discussion involving only #7 extension belongs in a different thread.

 

However, the primary thing that is proposed in that article actually places it squarely within the scope of this thread. The thing proposed is a combined tunnel with four segments, two of which are used for Amtrak/NJT and two for #7, similar to how the 63rd Street tunnel is set up. However there are technical issues with that. EPA and Army Corp of Engineers have summarily rejected the tunneling method that was used for the 63rd St. tunnel for use in case of Hudson because of the amount of buried environmentally hazardous stuff that sits in the river bed that no one wants to stir up. So using the cut, drop tunnel segments and cover method is out.

 

Given that it has to be a bored tunnel, the difficulty of boring a huge diameter tunnel large enough to encompass four tracks in 2x2 configuration presents its own challenges and cost elements which probably surpasses what it would cost to just bore four separate tunnels. The one with civil engineering in their professional expertise list here, is PRR60. maybe he can give us his perspective on this.

 

Anyway the implicit danger in what is proposed is that it will inevitably lead to possibly another 6 additional years of studies before anything can happen. At present the #7 proposal pretty much reuses the ARC EIS in toto for most of the Hudson tunnel alignment. The Gateway alignment is relatively well understood though still requires an EIS. And the two can proceed independent of each other on different time lines. This proposal mixes both up and puts a completely new and additional thing that must be studied starting from scratch.

 

It is almost like if I was trying to delay everything by many years while appearing to be well intentioned, I'd do something like this. :P

 

 

1. Thus, both proposals can not be done at the same time?

 

2. With the expected results of tomorrow's election, is Christie (in his second term) likely to focus more on PATH Extension to Newark Airport or new train tunnels into Manhattan?

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Guest Nathanael

15. The Hudson Yard real estate proposal is going to add more office space in that area than there is in the entire downtown area of

Minneapolis and St. paul.

NYC is actually suffering a severe glut of office space. And a shortage of residential space. I'm surprised we're not hearing about "office to condo" conversion plans.

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Guest Nathanael

The point I was making is that they will have to first dismantle the iron and concrete rings before they can install new bigger diameter ones. And they have to do that while not disturbing stuff above the tunnel.

This was done for one of the Underground lines in London nearly 100 years ago. I'm having trouble remembering which one... ah yes, the City and South London (now the City branch of the Northern line) in the 1920s. And talk about having stuff above the tunnel... they had a *lot* of stuff on top of that tube.

 

So this is certainly possible.

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(1) I really, really wish that the ACE could just get cut out of transportation policy wholesale. The fact that we have an odd piece of the DOD handling this stuff is at best a historical leftover from the pre-Civil War era that sort of lurched into a bunch of authority that the DOD really has no need to be involved in. Let's face it, we're not likely to be moving troops by riverboat anytime soon.

(2) NYC has, IIRC, had a glut of office space for a long time. It's one reason that the World Trade Center replacement project was scaled back in terms of usable space: There were already vacancy issues pre-9/11, and two recessions plus the cost of doing business in Manhattan haven't helped things. In all sincerity, it's something of a wonder more businesses aren't moving to Jersey City, Stamford, etc. given those conditions. Heck, with the Acela (and longer-term planned improvements to its speed), Philly and Wilmington start becoming viable locations as well.

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Guest Nathanael

In all sincerity, it's something of a wonder more businesses aren't moving to Jersey City, Stamford, etc. given those conditions.

Why move when there's such a lot of office space? High demand == lower rents.

 

What surprises me is that the buildings which are getting relatively poor rents as offices haven't been converted to residential, where they could command astronomical rents.

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In all sincerity, it's something of a wonder more businesses aren't moving to Jersey City, Stamford, etc. given those conditions.

Why move when there's such a lot of office space? High demand == lower rents.

 

What surprises me is that the buildings which are getting relatively poor rents as offices haven't been converted to residential, where they could command astronomical rents.

 

The answer to that is that there are more costs associated with being someplace than "just" rent. Long-standing comments about movie ticket prices aside, a lot of things at least seem to be more expensive in New York than elsewhere, though I cannot speak from any meaningful experience how far this extends from Manhattan.

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I am sure that all this office space and condo and rents in New York discussion has something to do with Gateway Project :P

 

What really needs to happen now is quick progress on the EIS for the Gateway alignment. Gateway does not use the ARC alignment. This I have been told by a guy from PB which is part of a consortium that is helping with the preparatory paperwork for both the Gateway and the #7 to Secaucus proposals. This is as I understand partly because the Gateway proposal uses a higher gradient than the ARC proposal and hence a slightly shorter tunnel under the river.

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Guest Andrew

I am sure that all this office space and condo and rents in New York discussion has something to do with Gateway Project :P

 

What really needs to happen now is quick progress on the EIS for the Gateway alignment. Gateway does not use the ARC alignment. This I have been told by a guy from PB which is part of a consortium that is helping with the preparatory paperwork for both the Gateway and the #7 to Secaucus proposals. This is as I understand partly because the Gateway proposal uses a higher gradient than the ARC proposal and hence a slightly shorter tunnel under the river.

 

Gateway maps I have seen show the Alignment using ARC's path until Palisades Avenue... Has this been changed?

 

What does "preparatory paperwork" refer to?

 

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There are no Gateway maps that are detailed enough out in public domain for you to be able to reach any conclusion about what parts of ARC is being used and what is not. So no nothing has changed. They never used it in the first place. That is what the guys who draw the detailed plans and diagrams at the PB related Consortium said upon specific questioning during the review of the 7 to Sec proposal. They specifically said that 7 to Sec uses the ARC tunnel alignment in that plan and that does not conflict with Gateway. And as I said they are involved in both.

 

Paperwork refers to EIS, an activity that is not currently funded.

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Guest Andrew

There are no Gateway maps that are detailed enough out in public domain for you to be able to reach any conclusion about what parts of ARC is being used and what is not. So no nothing has changed. They never used it in the first place. That is what the guys who draw the detailed plans and diagrams at the PB related Consortium said upon specific questioning during the review of the 7 to Sec proposal. They specifically said that 7 to Sec uses the ARC tunnel alignment in that plan and that does not conflict with Gateway. And as I said they are involved in both.

 

Paperwork refers to EIS, an activity that is not currently funded.

 

 

1. Who is PB partnering with for the Consortium?

 

2. How long is a typical PE--Final Design process for a project such as Gateway or Seven to Secaucus?

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Guest Nathanael

2. How long is a typical PE--Final Design process for a project such as Gateway or Seven to Secaucus?

50 years. OK, probably not really, but a lot of these have taken waaaay too long.

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Guest Andrew

 

There are no Gateway maps that are detailed enough out in public domain for you to be able to reach any conclusion about what parts of ARC is being used and what is not. So no nothing has changed. They never used it in the first place. That is what the guys who draw the detailed plans and diagrams at the PB related Consortium said upon specific questioning during the review of the 7 to Sec proposal. They specifically said that 7 to Sec uses the ARC tunnel alignment in that plan and that does not conflict with Gateway. And as I said they are involved in both.

 

Paperwork refers to EIS, an activity that is not currently funded.

 

 

1. Who is PB partnering with for the Consortium?

 

2. How long is a typical PE--Final Design process for a project such as Gateway or Seven to Secaucus?

 

 

1. If PB is involved with both, what do they think is the most beneficial for New Jersey citizens?

 

2. How long has PB been working with Gateway?

 

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