• 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 mtuandrew
 
Ridgefielder wrote:You might honestly be better off figuring out a way to open a temporary ferry transfer station at the ex-PRR Greenville Yard float docks in Bayonne. Or reconnecting the Staten Island Railway to the national network and running the Raritan Valley and North Jersey Coast Line trains into the St. George ferry terminal.
That is a remarkable idea re: the St. George Terminal. It’d be a $200m project at least, but fascinating.

It would be a $10m project to run an HBLR spur down to Communipaw Terminal proper - though that’s of limited benefit at best. What would have benefit is a better entrance/exit to I-78 so weekday Communipaw ferries could take more buses out of the tunnels. Sort of a Jersey-side PABT, if you will.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
mtuandrew wrote:
Ridgefielder wrote:You might honestly be better off figuring out a way to open a temporary ferry transfer station at the ex-PRR Greenville Yard float docks in Bayonne. Or reconnecting the Staten Island Railway to the national network and running the Raritan Valley and North Jersey Coast Line trains into the St. George ferry terminal.
That is a remarkable idea re: the St. George Terminal. It’d be a $200m project at least, but fascinating.

It would be a $10m project to run an HBLR spur down to Communipaw Terminal proper - though that’s of limited benefit at best.
Some organization (Liberty Historic Railway) has tried to get a rail transit link into the CRRNJ terminal, but those environmentalists don't want anything - even electric rail in the park.

Regarding St. George, how much excess capacity does SI Ferry have? Weekday schedules have four of six boats in service and bringing more rail service would likely require an 8 boat fleet with five or six ferries in service. A new class of ferries has been ordered, but I see the Kennedy (1965 class) perhaps lasting somewhat longer (after a year long overhaul in 2017-18).

Ridgefielder wrote:Saying some of the road tunnels implies that we have a bunch of them to work with. We don't. We have 2- the Holland and the Lincoln. Two tubes in the Holland, one running each direction. Three in the Lincoln, one running east, one running west, one (the "suicide tube") in the center that runs both directions off-peak, inbound-only in the AM and out-bound only in the PM. One lane in this center tube is bus-only at that time.
The center tube only has the bus lane in AM peak.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
Everyone should recall when the PRR tubes were built (1904-1908), no public funding was used. Perhaps one of the largest private sector public works projects. Even the New Deal was many years away.
  by ChemiosMurphy
 
R36 Combine Coach wrote:Everyone should recall when the PRR tubes were built (1904-1908), no public funding was used. Perhaps one of the largest private sector public works projects. Even the New Deal was many years away.
Private company with a budget larger than the Federal Government well before 2019 Manhattan population density.

Comparing the PRR in it's prime to federally-owned Amtrak is disingenuous.

Next.

If you oppose it, using same argument, why shouldn't Amtrak kill money-losing LD trains and instead focus on the semi profitable NEC? Let's be straight here, no one is using those trains to get to work or expensing it with their employer. Non nec LD is mostly recreational and the private market would swoop in with buses. Less money lost. Sounds silly, doesn't it?

I am fine with my NE taxes being redistributed for the better of America. Why shouldn't those in state that recieve more fed tax $$ than they put in want to better America and upgrade our infrastructure?
Greg Moore wrote:And of course, if the NY economy suffers, those retirees may find their next COLA a bit smaller than they like.
This is why we're the UNITED states with a Federal government.
Greg gets it.

Our infrastructure is crumbling, and Amtrak/Fed Govt owns the tunnels. We're fighting to get people to work, and most are trying to lift themselves up from bootstraps to do so. I surely did on NJT/Septa
  by Tadman
 
mtuandrew wrote:.However, the question must be asked: why is a wall a particular issue now and not five, ten, or twenty years ago?
Completely agree. Couldn't have said it better.

Why, when this tunnel has been an issue for years, wasn't the tunnel fixed by Amtrak Joe and Obama of Tiger grant fame? Why is it President Trump's problem? What incentive does he have to fix this tunnel that carries 300,000 hostile voters every day?

Why, when Senators Obama, Clinton, and Schumer supported the wall in 2006, (the Secure Fence Act of 2006), is this suddenly a bad thing? Why do they suddenly have an attitude best described as "no wall at all costs"?
mtuandrew wrote:This isn’t my forum to moderate, but last I checked illegal immigration and the Federal, state, local, and business responses to it are only marginally related to Amtrak.
It all ties together. Those with Trump Derangement Syndrome have shot themselves in the foot. They're so busy fighting this man that they can't get the darn sense to trade the $30b tunnels they want for the $5b wall that three local senators already approved!

Folks, this was a done deal in 2006 and we are now 13 years later, arguing over a wall that was already approved and tunnels that needed replacement a decade ago? Care to give up the silliness and make a deal or do you want to keep arguing?
  by Ken W2KB
 
R36 Combine Coach wrote: Some organization (Liberty Historic Railway) has tried to get a rail transit link into the CRRNJ terminal, but those environmentalists don't want anything - even electric rail in the park..
Precisely, and what was proposed by LHS was a very slow speed 5-mph historic trolley car shuttle between the existing Lightrail station just west of the park to the CNJ terminal, with a possible branch to the south end of the park. It was vehemently opposed by the Friends of Liberty State Park and other environmental activists, among other reasons, as (1) dangerous to people walking in the park who would be at risk of being struck by the trolley, and (2) it would paying homage to the polluting industrial past by and facilitated by the railroads.
  by quad50cal
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: the taxpayer in Lander, WY must wonder why he must pay for that "way out there". We must also not lose sight that this taxpayer is likely part of the incumbent POTUS' "base".
The ideological attendees of CPAC are not his actual 'base". At least, the Republican party's primary voters didn't seem to be opposed to the idea when Ted Cruz criticized him for proposing a trillion dollar infrastructure plan and endorsing the need for eminent domain.
WhartonAndNorthern wrote: The problem is that Trump takes everything personally and the Northeastern senators, representatives, governors, and AGs are deliberately antagonizing him and aren't offering him anything. Trump's actually doing pretty well on delivering promises to his base: decreased regulation, conservative judges, travel bans, NAFTA renegotiation, tax cuts (which, unfortunately, had disproportionate impact on NY and NJ), etc. The one thing he hasn't delivered to his base is The Wall.
That's what the Trump 2020 reelection committee would like to have you believe. They might be "promises made, promises kept", but I wouldn't attribute them to his leadership.
  • conservative judges - That's been entirely driven by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Remember, he was the one that blocked Obama from replacing Scalia while the 2016 primaries were still being fought out
  • NAFTA renegotiation - Still yet to be ratified by Congress
  • tax cuts - That was Paul Ryan's personal project for his entire congressional career. He wanted to punish "profligate" states like NY and NJ, and he very well got what he wanted, thus why he left. Trump's main contribution was his pressure to have a legislative "victory" before the end of 2017.
The idea of him being a "master deal maker" playing n-dimensional chess just does not square with his record or descriptions from his closest advisors.
ex Chief of Staff John Kelly, ex National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, wrote:an idiot
ex Secretary of Defense James Mattis wrote:understanding of a fifth or sixth grader
ex White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon wrote:He’s like an 11-year-old child
ex chief economic advisor Gary Cohn wrote:It’s worse than you can imagine. An idiot surrounded by clowns. Trump won’t read anything—not one-page memos, not the brief policy papers; nothing
55th Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie wrote:revolving door of deeply flawed individuals — amateurs, grifters, weaklings, convicted and unconvicted felons
If anything, for all of the hullabaloo over Trump being an outsider, it seems he is an outsider in his own administration. An administration that mostly acts as a warmed over Bush Administration that pays lip service to the themes of his 2016 campaign while Trump obsesses over his portrayal in the media ignoring thousands of details of governance.

I certainly don't believe he is aware or capable of wielding the procedural and bureaucratic methods that have been used to impede Gateway. Who would have that command and grasp of government agencies? Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao (Bush admin cabinet secretary) and all of her Heritage Foundation lackeys. Did anyone really believe that she would give a fair assessment of the merits of the Gateway Project when she was senior leadership in an organization ideologically opposed to Amtrak and public transport? The Bush Admin and the Heritage foundation didn't like Amtrak in 2005 when they tried to privatize it. Fourteen years have passed and it appears they still don't like Amtrak.

Let's not forget we are dealing with Bush admin people that think it was a good move to fire David Gunn (he organized the rehabilitation of the Harrisburg Line into the success it is today at a low cost) because it damaged the case for privatization.
WhartonAndNorthern wrote: If it's in the national interest maybe a "Finding of No Significant Impact" can be replaced by a "Finding of Minimal Impact" or "acceptable" impact.
It's actually a good thing for a project to receive that result. Adding more categories would probably give radical environmentalists and NIMBYs more room to challenge projects.
mtuandrew wrote: a functional barricade second if at all
I find it odd that Democrat politicians would make the criticism that a wall/barrier/obstruction would be something that only works in other countries, too difficult to construct, too expensive and ineffectual once built. These are all criticisms that have been made by Republicans about infrastructure projects. How can they believe that the effectiveness of HSR/robust commuter systems in Germany and Japan is something to be learned from but the effectiveness of a wall in Israel and a fence in Hungary is something to be ignored? Or that constructing a wall is fiscally irresponsible but a "Green New Deal" as proposed by Ocasio-Cortez featuring vactrains across the oceans is fiscally responsible.
Tadman wrote: It all ties together. Those with Trump Derangement Syndrome have shot themselves in the foot
Trump Derangement aside, why didn't Trump make "The Wall" a priority when he had a congressional majority? Why did Trump let Paul Ryan and McConnell prioritize their agendas and leave the wall as low priority?
Tadman wrote: The tunnels were built with private money, they can find local or private money to build new ones. 99% of riders are Jersey commuters. 80%+ of Amtrak passengers turn over at NYP. It's a completely local issue. Let the Jersey commuters and southern NEC folks hop off at Hoboken or Newark and ride path.
The thing about those hundreds of thousands of Jersey commuters, they offset a great deal traffic that would be on interstate highways that cross the Hudson. PATH will not absorb them as PATH doesn't have all that much excess capacity (it's at 96% capacity and that's counting the implementation of CBTC moving block signals)
Tadman wrote: Any malarkey about it being "critical to the national economy" is a crock. I could make that argument about corridor and commuter trains going into Boston, Philly, Chicago, DC, Los Angeles, and Seattle. It's a tired line of logic that doesn't hold water.
I don't think you're familiar with the type and volume of traffic that crosses the George Washington Bridge (there used to be a live cam of the traffic). Every single day will be a replay of the severity of BridgeGate's traffic conditions. It will create a festering open wound that will ensnare all freight truck traffic traveling through NYC to destinations north and south on the Eastern Seaboard.

As for the cities listed, while they might not offset 1 million passengers a day as commuter rail in the NYC region does, they still provide a similar benefit. Although in the case of Seattle, I would say their system doesn't provide much benefit because it was built in the paradigm of infrequent slow diesel hauled bilevels giving it anemic numbers.
  by Tadman
 
And here is a perfect example of Trump Derangement Syndrome. You just took a zillion billion words in the longest post I've ever seen trying to convince me of something that just doesn't play out in the numbers.

You have 300,000 passengers that live in Jersey and commute to New York every day. 150k from Midtown Direct, 120k from NJT-NEC, 30k from NJCL. Most are hostile to President Trump. So are the senators in the origin and destination.

They can make a deal or ride the ferry.
  by Tadman
 
ChemiosMurphy wrote:
R36 Combine Coach wrote:Everyone should recall when the PRR tubes were built (1904-1908), no public funding was used. Perhaps one of the largest private sector public works projects. Even the New Deal was many years away.
Private company with a budget larger than the Federal Government well before 2019 Manhattan population density.

Comparing the PRR in it's prime to federally-owned Amtrak is disingenuous.

Next.
According to Wikipedia the PRR had the second largest budget in the country after the federal government. More importantly, the federal government has grown in scope and size in the last 100 years, companies have not shrunk. There's a reason we didn't have federal income tax at one time. We didn't need it.
  by Tadman
 
It seems the factions have fought their way to a dead end. It might be a good time for them to grow up and face facts. There is no federal money for the tubes. There is no bus capacity. There is no ferry capacity. The environmentalists won't let them run a toonerville trolley at the other station that once carried 130 trains/day and 340 ferry trips/day.

You can't get blood from a stone... How hard are NJ housing values going to drop when commuters can't get to town? How hard are lower wage workers from depressed areas like Newark going to be hit? Are they pawns for their politicians who think they are sticking it to President Trump?
  by quad50cal
 
Tadman wrote:You just took a zillion billion words in the longest post I've ever seen trying to convince me of something that just doesn't play out in the numbers.
Most of my post was not directed at you. My responses to your posts have a total word count of 164. You're several orders of magnitude short of zillion billion.
Tadman wrote: You have 300,000 passengers that live in Jersey and commute to New York every day. 150k from Midtown Direct, 120k from NJT-NEC, 30k from NJCL. Most are hostile to President Trump.
Right. Using those numbers, if one of the North River Tunnels fail, assume a substantial fraction ( say 65%) are now forced to use alternate methods to reach NYC.

That's 195,000 passengers. The entire combined ferry fleet (Staten Island Ferry, NYC Ferry, etc) in the NYC region has a capacity of ~80000. Dump 15000 onto PATH and put PATH over capacity. You're still left with 100,0000 even with those extreme measures. Where are those 100,000 commuters going to go? They're going to drive into NYC over the George Washington Bridge and exacerbating already poor traffic congestion on a vital route for goods transported by truck. They aren't going to be coerced into taking public transportation if they don't want to.
Tadman wrote: So are the senators in the origin and destination.
The senators representing Florida fruit growers aren't going to be pleased when their growers face increased costs and transit time for their products.
Tadman wrote: And here is a perfect example of Trump Derangement Syndrome.
I think you might have Trump Infatuation Syndrome if you're offended by my posting quotes of what Trump's closest advisors have said about him. I only posted them to serve as evidence against this persistent idea that Trump is such an accomplished deal maker creating a grand orchestration of a political play in the Gateway dealings.
  by Ridgefielder
 
R36 Combine Coach wrote:Regarding St. George, how much excess capacity does SI Ferry have? Weekday schedules have four of six boats in service and bringing more rail service would likely require an 8 boat fleet with five or six ferries in service. A new class of ferries has been ordered, but I see the Kennedy (1965 class) perhaps lasting somewhat longer (after a year long overhaul in 2017-18).
Just because you're operating out of St. George doesn't mean you'd have to use the yellow boats exclusively. You could augment them with the smaller and faster NY Waterway ferries running to Manhattan destinations other than South Ferry-- like the terminals at West 40th St. and East 34th St.
  by JCGUY
 
In my view, Trump seems to have the attention span of a hamster and little ability to control his own administration. But even he is not scatter brained enough to write a $30 billion check to the very people who spend 24 hours a day trying to figure out how to impeach him.

The decline and ultimate closure of these tunnel is a shame and a national scandal, and the progressive brain trust in this region does not care.
  by mtuandrew
 
I do like parks, and to that I challenge the Friends of Liberty State Park to propose a purpose for the park as more than a jumping-off point for Statue cruises. It’s a lot of underused lawn and a decaying train shed right now, and as a historian who’s done some preservation and green space work, that’s an inefficient use of the land for either recreation or transportation.

Also to be clear, in the event of a catastrophe I would tap the CNJ Terminal exclusively for weekday express buses, using the tour bus loop at the extreme northeastern end of Audrey Zapp Drive (and not the trainshed) and rebuilding at least one of the three unrestored slips - preferably at least two of them. I feel that’s entirely consistent with the Terminal’s designed use and ought not to need a NJ State Historic Preservation Office review. Of course NJDEQ would probably have a fit since it’s a state park, but they’d need to tell the people of New Jersey a reason why the Terminal couldn’t serve both its designed purpose and as a jumping-off point for the Statue and Ellis Island.
  by mmi16
 
Trump doesn't care about the functioning of the USA, it's transportation systems or it's economic systems - beyond pumping up the Dow Jones numbers. His politics are that of attacking ANYONE that dare have a idea that differs from his PERIOD. The USA is regressing as leader in the world daily!
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