Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey Transit’

Amtrak Agrees to Help Develop NYC-Scranton Corridor

July 21, 2021

An agreement has been reached between Amtrak and the Pennsylvania Northeast Railroad Authority to work toward the establishment of intercity rail passenger service between New York City and Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Amtrak said in a news release that it would provide infrastructure assessment and ridership and revenue forecasting estimates of equipment needs and other analysis of the proposed service.

The project review is expected to take about a year to complete and cost $400,000.

The New York-Scranton route was among several new corridors identified by the Amtrak Connect US plan to be developed by 2035.

The route would use the Lackawanna Cut-Off, a dormant dormant right of way owned by the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The proposed service would be three daily round trips that would connect with New Jersey Transit’s Morristown Line at SWIFT Interlocking (Kearny Connection), then on to Scranton via a rebuilt Lackawanna Cut-Off through a connection with the Morristown Line at Port Morris Junction. 

NJT Morristown Line service currently ends at Hackettstown although plans are in place to develop branch line service from Port Morris to Andover Township.

Other work that needs to be completed includes restoring the 1,024-foot Roseville Tunnel located about six miles west of Port Morris Junction.

Amtrak trains to Scranton would require new dual-power locomotives because the segment between Scranton and the Morristown Line will not be electrified.

Passenger trains last used the Lackawanna Cut-off in 1970. Conrail ended freight service there in 1978 and removed the tracks in 1984.

The route is named for the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western.

Estimates of the cost of restoring track between the Roseville Tunnel and Pennsylvania are around $300 million with most of that needed to repair the Hainesburg Viaduct and Delaware River Viaduct.

Advocates of the project hope to obtain funding from an infrastructure bill now being considered by Congress.

Agencies OK Documents for Hudson River Tunnel Project

June 4, 2021

Two federal agencies have issued the final environmental impact statement and record of decision for a project to create a new tunnel under the Hudson River in Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.

The Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Transit Administration issued the documents recently in cooperation with the New Jersey Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Amtrak and the Gateway Development Commission.

The documents will enable the Hudson Tunnel Project to advance toward final design and construction.

The tunnel is one component of the Gateway Program. Although no federal funding has been approved for the project to date, completion of these two steps is a prerequisite for FRA or FTA to direct future federal funding for such things as engineering, final design development and property acquisition.

Penn Station Renovation Outlined

April 28, 2021

New York officials have revealed options to redevelop New York Penn Station as part of the proposed $16 billion Empire Station Complex.

Amtrak, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New Jersey Transit are working to together to establish a plan to unify the separate railroads’ concourses into one space.

This project would new tracks and platforms to accommodate growing ridership, expected to increase by 54 percent to 830,000 daily users by 2038.

The first step in project is to rebuild the station’s existing Penn Station layout. That would involve  creating a central atrium and giving NJ Transit some space now used by Amtrak.

However, officials said they are also considering creating an open, single-level concourse that would eliminate all low ceiling heights.

This work would simplify entry and exit routes from trains and the street level while also creating new large circulation areas bigger than the Great Hall of Grand Central Terminal.

Gateway Study Completion Expected in May

April 15, 2021

A long-stalled Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision for the Gateway Tunnel project in New York and New Jersey is expected to be completed in May.

The project, which affects Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, involves building new tunnels between New Jersey and New York City under the Hudson River while rebuilding the existing tunnels.

The tunnels are used by New Jersey Transit commuter trains.

The announcement of the completion date for the environmental study was made by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

It had been expected given that the Biden administration has signaled its support for the Gateway project.

Biden Administration Expected to Move Gateway Project Along

March 27, 2021

The Biden administration plans to approve the long-stalled Gateway Project to build new tunnels under the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg made the announcement this week during a hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Buttigieg said the U.S. Department of Transportation hopes to complete the project’s environmental impact statement by the end of June.

“I share your sense of urgency,” Buttigieg told the committee. “This is a regional issue but one of “national significance because if there was a failure in one of those tunnels, the entire U.S. economy would feel it.”

The existing tunnels are more than a century old and suffered severe damage in 2012 during superstorm Sandy.

Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains use the tunnels.

DOT No. 2 Nominee Pledges Support for Gateway Project

March 14, 2021

The Biden administration’s nominee for the No. 2 job at the U.S. Department of Transportation said during a Senate confirmation hearing that the Northeast Corridor’s Gateway Tunnel project will be a top priority of the agency.

Deputy Secretary of Transportation nominee Polly Trottenberg made the pledge in response to a question asked by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut).

“It is truly a project of national significance, and as you say, one that really would have just a massive rippling impact if we were to see those over-100-year-old tunnels under the Hudson River for some reason need to be shut down,” Trottenberg said.

She formerly served as commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation.

The $11 billion Gateway project calls for construction of two tunnels linking New York’s Penn Station and New Jersey under the Hudson River.

The two existing tunnels between the points would be rebuilt. Both were damaged in 2012 during Superstorm Sandy.

The tunnels are used by trains of Amtrak and New Jersey Transit.

The current tunnels were built in 1910 by the former Pennsylvania Railroad.

“Clearly, in my view, without the Gateway Project, our rail and possibly other transportation systems will collapse on the East Coast,” Blumenthal said. “As much of an exaggeration it may seem to say it that way, it is literally true that the tunnel is decaying and increasingly decrepit. It poses a danger to transportation up and down the East Coast. It could literally cripple the transportation grid as we know it now, and yet there have been delays and foot-dragging and finger-pointing.”

Trottenberg agreed that if the tunnels were shut down it would have “a massive ripping impact.”

She said President Joseph Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg “have spoken about this project, and that the Department is going to be hard at work making sure we are picking up the pace and expediting the environmental and other approvals needed for this project, and working closely, I think, with the Congress as well to make sure we have a financing and funding scheme that can get the project done.”

When asked what Congress should be doing to get the Gateway project moving, Trottenberg said the administration will be coming back to Congress for further discussion.

Blumenthal asked Trottenberg to provide a a status report within two to four weeks of her confirmation.

“If confirmed, I certainly will, Senator, and I agree, this is not a project that we can fail to complete,” Trottenberg said. “We are going to have to find a way to do Gateway.”

Ex-Amtrak P40s Rebuilt for CDOT Service

March 13, 2021

Former Amtrak P40 locomotives that were rebuilt at the carrier’s Beech Grove Shops in Indiana have been put into revenue service by the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

CDOT plans to use 12 of the rebuilt Amtrak engines with No. 6711 apparently the first to begin service after being overhauled and repainted.

It was built by GE in 1993 as Amtrak No. 820 and later worked for NJ Transit in Atlantic City service as No. 4803.

CDOT purchased four P40s from NJT and eight others from Amtrak in 2005. The latter units have operated in an Amtrak livery but with a CDOT patch.

The rebuilt locomotives will be used on the Hartford Line and Shore Line East commuter services.

Portal Bridge Project Gets FTA Grant

January 13, 2021

The Federal Transit Administration has authorized New Jersey Transit to receive a $766.5 million grant for the $1.888 billion two-track, fixed-span Portal North Bridge Project.

The funding will be used to replace the 110-year-old Portal Bridge across the Hackensack River in the New Jersey Meadowlands on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.

The Federal Highway Administration is providing $57 million toward the project, NJ Transit will contribute $811 million and Amtrak will provide $261.5 million.

The two passenger operators will share operating and maintenance costs for the bridge.

The federal money is coming from the Capital Investments Grants Program.

Officials said the start of construction is still a year away.

Grants Awarded in Connecticut, New Jersey for Passenger Rail Improvements

October 28, 2020

Connecticut received $144.9 million in federal grants for bridge replacement in Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.

The grants are from the State of Good Repair Program.

One grant of $79.7 million to the Connecticut Department of Transportation and Amtrak will be used to replace the Walk Bridge in Norwalk, a movable bridge built in 1896.

It will be replaced with two-track vertical lift bridges. The project also involves improvements to bridge supports and retaining walls, catenary structures, and signal systems.

The other grant, for $65.2 million, will help fund replacement of the 113-year-old Connecticut River Bridge between Old Lyme and Old Saybrook with a new bascule bridge just south of the existing structure.

New Jersey Transit will receive a $27 million grant to renovate the Trenton Transit Center.

The work involves rebuilding the station’s two island platforms, restoring the canopies for those platforms, and bringing the facility into compliance with Americans With Disabilities Act standards.

Construction of a high-level platform with an elevator will enable expansion by Amtrak, NJ Transit, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

The current wood platforms will be replaced with concrete surfaces.

Another grant of $9.8 million went to North County Transit District in California for signal and crossing upgrades.

Bus Schedules Change in North Carolina; Buses Replace Trains to Atlantic City

October 22, 2020

Eastern North Carolina Thruway Service changed on Oct. 20 at certain cities with the changes in effect through Aug. 20, 2021.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said buses 6089 and 6090 are suspended while Buses 6189 and 6190 are canceled on Tuesdays.

Bus service is suspended at Goldsboro, Kinston, Havelock, Morehead City and Swansboro.

Bus service will continue at Wilmington, Jacksonville, New Bern, Greenville and Wilson.

In an unrelated development New Jersey Transit will substitute buses for trains on weekends between Philadelaphia (30th Street Station) and Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The bus substitutions will continue through Dec. 18 due to work on the Delair Bridge. The work will affect rail service between 4 a.m. on Saturdays and 6:30 p.m. on Sundays.

Passengers boarding at 30th Street station will board the bus on JFK Boulevard across from the station’s 30th Street entrance. The bus will depart at the scheduled train time.

Those traveling on a bus to 30th Street Station will disembark on  the driveway on the 30th Street side of the station right outside the doors.