• Amtrak Gateway Tunnels

  • This forum will be for issues that don't belong specifically to one NYC area transit agency, but several. For instance, intra-MTA proposals or MTA-wide issues, which may involve both Metro-North Railroad (MNRR) and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Other intra-agency examples: through running such as the now discontinued MNRR-NJT Meadowlands special. Topics which only concern one operating agency should remain in their respective forums.
This forum will be for issues that don't belong specifically to one NYC area transit agency, but several. For instance, intra-MTA proposals or MTA-wide issues, which may involve both Metro-North Railroad (MNRR) and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Other intra-agency examples: through running such as the now discontinued MNRR-NJT Meadowlands special. Topics which only concern one operating agency should remain in their respective forums.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

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  by gokeefe
 
Mr. Penner's credentials are excellent of course but his fundamental analysis that everything needs to be reevaluated is the kind of perspective that results in the very cost inflation he claims to be so concerned about. The tunnels are not optional infrastructure. They have to be replaced due to extensive deterioration.

There will probably be changes in use patterns but there is no reason to believe that the entire model is in question. Certainly nothing that would call for immediate expenditures of funds and delays to the project. The likely prospect of a vaccine makes doubts about necessity even more unreasonable.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk



  by JohnFromJersey
 
Pardon my ignorance, why don't they just build some sort of bridge? Especially like a bridge in the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel style, where it's half bridge, half tunnel? I feel like it would be a lot cheaper, and could be done pretty quickly, and the Hudson is pretty wide anyway, so I'd imagine it could be done.
  by Pensyfan19
 
JohnFromJersey wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:09 pm Pardon my ignorance, why don't they just build some sort of bridge? Especially like a bridge in the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel style, where it's half bridge, half tunnel? I feel like it would be a lot cheaper, and could be done pretty quickly, and the Hudson is pretty wide anyway, so I'd imagine it could be done.
I think the Hudson River is used so often by so many passenger and freight boats that building any kind of bridge for that small of a distance would be too low for most boats to pass under, and would cause a bottleneck in water traffic at portions of the Hudson.

  by ExCon90
 
Absolutely right. A movable bridge being out of the question, you'd need a bridge as high as the Hell Gate over the Hudson, with a need to start gaining altitude somewhere around Harrison and no way to get back down to Penn Station. And the river isn't wide enough for a bridge-tunnel combination.
  by Marty Feldner
 
The idea was proposed and rejected more than once, for the reasons mentioned above, going back to the late 1800's; one design by Gustav Lindenthal-

https://uh.edu/engines/epi2328.htm
  by STrRedWolf
 
It was also proposed by the Pennsylvania RailRoad with all the other companies intended to join in. It was flatly rejected and the PRR ended up building the tunnels.

PBS' American Experience documented this in it's episode "The Rise and Fall of Penn Station".

Re:

  by JohnFromJersey
 
ExCon90 wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:39 pm Absolutely right. A movable bridge being out of the question, you'd need a bridge as high as the Hell Gate over the Hudson, with a need to start gaining altitude somewhere around Harrison and no way to get back down to Penn Station. And the river isn't wide enough for a bridge-tunnel combination.
I mean, maybe they could build some sort of moveable bridge in dual use with the tunnels for the time being? Would take some wear and tear off the tunnels, and if there's a collapse of them, there's an alternative, albeit a crappy one. I also never knew that the Hudson was THAT busy - many of the moveable bridges around NYC barely go up a few times a year these days, and as someone who frequently crossed the GWB, I've never seen many industrial ships go by. If they could at least get the clearance to be 30-50 feet, maybe they could get the majority of pleasure and small boats through, and open the bridge for the rest.

The other option I could think of is have the approach be some sort of spiral staircase - style one but I don't think that would be very effective. If they ever did a bridge option, I'd imagine it would open the door for more freight trains in NYC to take trucks off the congested roads, since there's no freight crossings over the Hudson south of Albany.

And how long are the current North River Tunnels? They have to be like 2 or 3 miles long
  by STrRedWolf
 
JohnFromJersey wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 4:48 pm I mean, maybe they could build some sort of moveable bridge in dual use with the tunnels for the time being? Would take some wear and tear off the tunnels, and if there's a collapse of them, there's an alternative, albeit a crappy one. I also never knew that the Hudson was THAT busy - many of the moveable bridges around NYC barely go up a few times a year these days, and as someone who frequently crossed the GWB, I've never seen many industrial ships go by. If they could at least get the clearance to be 30-50 feet, maybe they could get the majority of pleasure and small boats through, and open the bridge for the rest.
You still have issues with boat traffic across the Hudson (you got ferries, cruise lines, shipping terminals, etc), plus you'll have to find some way to account for the elevation needed to clear all that boat traffic. There's limits on how much of a climb a train can do, and how much of a curve they can take at speed. Oh, and you have to have room on BOTH sides to get ON AND OFF the bridge, and you also have to clear other existing tunnels like the Lincoln Tunnel.

In other words, look up the area in Google Maps, and work around all that traffic. The less buildings you knock down, the cheaper it gets. But I bet it'll cost just as much if not more to build new tunnels, and the approval process would take just as long.
The other option I could think of is have the approach be some sort of spiral staircase - style one but I don't think that would be very effective. If they ever did a bridge option, I'd imagine it would open the door for more freight trains in NYC to take trucks off the congested roads, since there's no freight crossings over the Hudson south of Albany.

And how long are the current North River Tunnels? They have to be like 2 or 3 miles long
From portal opening in NJ to the first interlock of Penn Station is roughly 2.5 miles. It starts more in-land. Elevation changes take more distance to perform.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Well, we are a rail forum, but didn't Moses have a proposal at one time for an elevated trans-Manhattan expressway? I think it was proposed for either 14th St., or 34th.

The Palisades are a HUGE hurdle. IIRC the geological profile of the lower Hudson are not quite as severe, but still difficult. Also, the North River is a good bit wider down there, than say the GW Bridge, which has a much more "equitable" geological profile at a narrower point.

Speaking of the GW, at one time the Lower Level was supposed to be for rail. Which makes me wonder if trying to tie into the Empire Connection up around that point could be possible? Now, the Empire Service there is down at river level; like the proposal for the TZB (ain't no Cuomo bridge here!), you'd need a winding gradual turn down. You'd also need another bridge, and with no useful connections around Fort Lee that would be a bit out of the way...

The North River Tunnels are 2.76 miles wide. The TZB is 3 miles wide. We're not talking about a huge distance; it's doable, but what would the grade be? And then, the issue, the approaches, the fact that Penn is underground and a bridge is not. So, would you cross Manhattan elevated? I seriously doubt it. There's a reason there are no more elevated anythings in Manhattan (except for a portion of the IRT up in Northern Manhattan).

You'd have to find some way of lowering the tracks to the Empire Connection somewhere around the old Riverside Yards.

It's not going to happen. Too far along in planning for Gateway; just waiting for the bucks.
  by mtuandrew
 
The GWB rail proposal would be perfect for an Erie-Lackawanna-side connection into Grand Central. It would depend on collecting the northern lines into the NYSW, then digging a tunnel through the Palisades, then crossing the tip of Manhattan and spiraling down to the NYC at Highbridge. But, that might still be a cheaper solution than the Secaucus Spiral + Gateway.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Now that's a thought! I had not considered GCT as an alternative. Might be worth looking at an NEC connection from the back end into Penn as well, around where the old NYW&B tied in to the Hell Gate line.

Well, Mr. Google Maps Man Andrew :P how about a map??? :wink:
  by Jeff Smith
 
And yeah, we're into foamer fantasy territory here!
  by JohnFromJersey
 
Jeff Smith wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:57 am Well, we are a rail forum, but didn't Moses have a proposal at one time for an elevated trans-Manhattan expressway? I think it was proposed for either 14th St., or 34th.

The Palisades are a HUGE hurdle. IIRC the geological profile of the lower Hudson are not quite as severe, but still difficult. Also, the North River is a good bit wider down there, than say the GW Bridge, which has a much more "equitable" geological profile at a narrower point.

Speaking of the GW, at one time the Lower Level was supposed to be for rail. Which makes me wonder if trying to tie into the Empire Connection up around that point could be possible? Now, the Empire Service there is down at river level; like the proposal for the TZB (ain't no Cuomo bridge here!), you'd need a winding gradual turn down. You'd also need another bridge, and with no useful connections around Fort Lee that would be a bit out of the way...

The North River Tunnels are 2.76 miles wide. The TZB is 3 miles wide. We're not talking about a huge distance; it's doable, but what would the grade be? And then, the issue, the approaches, the fact that Penn is underground and a bridge is not. So, would you cross Manhattan elevated? I seriously doubt it. There's a reason there are no more elevated anythings in Manhattan (except for a portion of the IRT up in Northern Manhattan).

You'd have to find some way of lowering the tracks to the Empire Connection somewhere around the old Riverside Yards.

It's not going to happen. Too far along in planning for Gateway; just waiting for the bucks.
I'm just wondering what they would do if the tunnels suddenly went out of service.
  by JohnFromJersey
 
mtuandrew wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 10:08 am The GWB rail proposal would be perfect for an Erie-Lackawanna-side connection into Grand Central. It would depend on collecting the northern lines into the NYSW, then digging a tunnel through the Palisades, then crossing the tip of Manhattan and spiraling down to the NYC at Highbridge. But, that might still be a cheaper solution than the Secaucus Spiral + Gateway.
That's actually not a bad idea.
And if gateway is far enough into planning, why is funding an issue? I feel like at this stage if they want anything they need to bring the price tag down even more.
  by Backshophoss
 
Bringing NJT into GCT,that's a real bad nitemare,as GCT is at or over CAPY at present
Also kiss the lower deck goodby to handle the 4-6 track ROW needed :P
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