• 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

  by 25Hz
 
pbj123 wrote:I may be mistaken, but I believe any new tunnel approach will come in south of the existing tubes. I think the yards you are talking about are north of those tubes. If LIRR is being moved out of parts of their yard, it could be for foundation work needed to deck over the west end of the station. most of that open area will be covered and become a park for two buildings going up there.
If you look at the map of the gateway tunnel proposal you'd note that the approaches to NYP of the new tunnel pair lay directly beneath the west side yard and its small mantinence facility. The section being put in "now" is the segment directly under that area, which needs to be supported for anything to be built over it or risk geologic instability if they tried putting the tunnel section in after the buildings go up. Ultimately this segment will determine the loading gauge for the rest of the tunnels. Easier and safer to dig/blast when there's not millions of lbs of building weight added.
  by Thomas
 
1. Does anyone know if New York City is planning on passing a bond act for the upcoming November 2013 mayoral elections? If this is so, than it would be nice for some of the bond money to be used for trans-hudson tunnel construction--just as the 2005 bond act funded construction of East Side Access.

2. To speed up the engineering section of Amtrak's Gateway Project, what parts of ARC can already be used to determine the proper alignment of Gateway?
  by lirr42
 
Thomas wrote:1. Does anyone know if New York City is planning on passing a bond act for the upcoming November 2013 mayoral elections? If this is so, than it would be nice for some of the bond money to be used for trans-hudson tunnel construction--just as the 2005 bond act funded construction of East Side Access.
I doubt they are going to do a bond act of some sort. The Gateway Tunnels will be of little benefit to the residents of New York City at large, as the vast majority of them won't care weather or not dual-mode service from High Bridge ever comes to be. If you are going to see something like that it would have to come from the state of New Jersey or some of the counties on the water. Other than that, they're out of luck.
Thomas wrote:2. To speed up the engineering section of Amtrak's Gateway Project, what parts of ARC can already be used to determine the proper alignment of Gateway?
Probably very few to none. ARC and son of ARC are two very different projects, one is considerably cheaper and is being spearheaded by Amtrak, while one was more expensive, involved a different routing with a station in Macy's basement. Like with any megaproject, it's best not to cut corners. It's doubtful that this project will get done in our lifetimes anyways, so why rush it?
  by Thomas
 
Well, I still think that this project should be a top prospect for New Starts Funding and the RRIF program.

A new deep-level station can potentially be built 100 feet below street level, with a mezzanine 25 feet above it, or 75 feet below street level. This still leaves plenty of space for a TBM bored tunnel and to minimize disruptions to current train service as well as nearby buildings.

Where would the deep-bored tunnels connect with the box tunnels that will begin construction this July?
  by Woody
 
I think I've seen references to using some of
the pre-ARC work on getting the Gateway
approvals, but iirc it was a little bit on the
Jersey side. If there was any ARC work done
on the NYC side, it was wasted.

If you want to talk about a new deep-level
station 100 feet below ground, don't. All
that talk of Macy's Basement is finished.

Amtrak floated the Penn Station South idea
a year or two back. It would bring new tracks
under the block 30th to 31st, 7th Ave to 8th.

Amtrak owns some of that land already. It
would be easy to clear the rest. A beautiful
old church that the Diocese would eagerly
sell because their parishioners don't live on
the West Side of Manhattan anymore (and
the church always needs money). A garage
and a few parking lots. Two or three very
tired office buildings.

But while Penn Station South looks to be
on the right side of the new tunnels, it's on
the wrong side for Moynahan Station. So
who knows what "they" will do. "They" don't
know. And "they" don't have any money to
do it with, not at the present time.

====================

As for bond issues, I'd vote for one to extend
the still-under-construction Second Avenue
Subway from 96th on up to 125th -- Phase II.
(It would connect with the MetroNorth Station
there, btw).

It would be my third, or yes, possibly fourth,
time to vote for a bond issue to build the
Second Avenue Subway. Keep the faith! LOL.
  by Thomas
 
I agree that a bond act would be an appropriate way to fund the second phase of the Q train Extension up Second Avenue.

I just find that "Penn Station South" is an unlikely solution since it would call for razing a city block and tearing down several buildings. However, I still wonder how soon construction crews can begin boring tunnels, and how much longer the engineering process will take...
  by Greg Moore
 
Thomas wrote:Well, I still think that this project should be a top prospect for New Starts Funding and the RRIF program.

A new deep-level station can potentially be built 100 feet below street level, with a mezzanine 25 feet above it, or 75 feet below street level. This still leaves plenty of space for a TBM bored tunnel and to minimize disruptions to current train service as well as nearby buildings.

Where would the deep-bored tunnels connect with the box tunnels that will begin construction this July?
A deep tunnel/station idea is defunct and I think correctly so as while it adds capacity, it adds no useful functionality. By having 4 tunnels effectively going into Penn Station (w or w/o Penn Station South) you greatly increase functionality and in the event a tunnel goes out of commission for some reason you don't lose nearly the same amount of capacity.
  by eastwind
 
25Hz wrote:If you look at the map of the gateway tunnel proposal
Here is a link to the proposal. A map is included on the last page.
  by Adirondacker
 
Woody wrote: Two or three very
tired office buildings.
The Port Authority had a very tired old office building, one that took up a whole block, which they sold for a billion a few years ago. Yes a billion with a B. Even tired old office buildings in Manhattan aren't cheap. And neither are parking garages when they they can rent parking spaces at the rates they get in Manhattan.
lirr42 wrote: ARC and son of ARC are two very different projects, one is considerably cheaper and is being spearheaded by Amtrak, while one was more expensive, involved a different routing with a station in Macy's basement. Like with any megaproject, it's best not to cut corners. It's doubtful that this project will get done in our lifetimes anyways, so why rush it?
ARC was going to cost 10 billion. Amtrak is proposing that that Gateway will cost 13 billion. If ARC was going to have cost overruns that would have made it cost more than Gateway, Gateway will have cost overrunns too. And the risk of Gateway having cost overruns is higher than with ARC. ARC had more detailed engineering done. That means the chances of unexpected cost overruns goes down.
... and Gateway will have less capacity.
  by lirr42
 
Adirondacker wrote:ARC was going to cost 10 billion. Amtrak is proposing that that Gateway will cost 13 billion. If ARC was going to have cost overruns that would have made it cost more than Gateway, Gateway will have cost overrunns too. And the risk of Gateway having cost overruns is higher than with ARC. ARC had more detailed engineering done. That means the chances of unexpected cost overruns goes down.
... and Gateway will have less capacity.
Ah, but Gateway is an Amtrak project, on a federal scale with federal ways of doing things. ARC was a much more New Jersey-oriented project, subjected to the whims of the State of New Jersey and its governor (which ended up being the downfall of the project in the end). With Amtrak at the helm it will be easier, per se, to get and keep funds for a project of this size.
  by morris&essex4ever
 
lirr42 wrote:
Adirondacker wrote:ARC was going to cost 10 billion. Amtrak is proposing that that Gateway will cost 13 billion. If ARC was going to have cost overruns that would have made it cost more than Gateway, Gateway will have cost overrunns too. And the risk of Gateway having cost overruns is higher than with ARC. ARC had more detailed engineering done. That means the chances of unexpected cost overruns goes down.
... and Gateway will have less capacity.
Ah, but Gateway is an Amtrak project, on a federal scale with federal ways of doing things. ARC was a much more New Jersey-oriented project, subjected to the whims of the State of New Jersey and its governor (which ended up being the downfall of the project in the end). With Amtrak at the helm it will be easier, per se, to get and keep funds for a project of this size.
Not when you have the type congress we currently have. Very little gets done these days in Washington :(. Both parties can't even agree on a budget. So much tax money is wasted that would otherwise be spent on useful infrastructure projects. Gateway still has to go through years of studies and red tape before construction can even start. I'd be amazed if a third tube to Penn Station from the west is completed by 2025. :)
  by 25Hz
 
Hm well there is not going to be a deep level station there is no Q train that is run by amtrak that i'm aware of. We are getting close to a finalized design for the tunnel, the NJ side of the ROW, and so on. We are well past the speculative point where ARC would be relevant.

These tunnels will be at approximately the same depth as the existing tunnels, and the only real difference is that they will be longer and curve north/south to line up properly due to starting farther south in NJ.

You also see the tie-ins for the dead end track to the west and the tie-in for gateway trains to use existing tracks up to 10 i think it is, which allows them to pass through to sunnyside or on towards boston.

Of course NJT benefits as well.
  by Greg Moore
 
Ok, so functional question then:

I'm assuming the tunnels will be built first and then "Penn Station South". (Despite the document not really spelling this out, it makes the most sense to me.)

So once Penn Station South is built, since it's a stub end station, what ends up using it?

I'm assuming NJT Push-pull trains and perhaps the Keystone corridor trains (since they're also push pull).

Would Amtrak start to run more push-pull WAS-NYP or perhaps run NYP terminating Acelas to those tracks (which would I think be a bad idea since sometimes customers would know to look for one set of tracks and sometimes for another).

I note the additional option of MNRR trains, how many (if any) would be expected to come down the Empire connector?
  by Thomas
 
Here is an updated document regarding Amtrak's Gateway Project. There appears to be a ventilation/interlocking facility at (or just east of) 12th avenue. Based on looking at this information, it is clear that Amtrak is still interested in a "Lower Level" Alignment. http://www.northplainfield.org/Press_Re ... Amtrak.pdf
  by Greg Moore
 
Thomas wrote:Here is an updated document regarding Amtrak's Gateway Project. There appears to be a ventilation/interlocking facility at (or just east of) 12th avenue. Based on looking at this information, it is clear that Amtrak is still interested in a "Lower Level" Alignment. http://www.northplainfield.org/Press_Re ... Amtrak.pdf
Not sure "still" is quite the right word (keep in mind the NJT lower level I believe was to be to the north of the existing station (hence the "Macy's Basement" nickname).

If I'm reading this right, the lower level would be an ADDITIONAL concourse, built at a later date with tracks through to the east to allow the Next-Gen HSR trainsets their own dedicated platforms and the like.

I could be wrong on that thought.
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