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admin 29.03.2016

New Jersey governor Chris Christie spiked plans to build two new rail tunnels under the Hudson, likely leaving the metropolitan region for the next quarter century with all of two rail tunnels to carry New Jersey commuters into Midtown Manhattan.
With gas prices hovering around $4 a gallon and this summer shaping up to be the most expensive ever for air travel, some vacationers may be turning to another method of transportation: train travel. Amtrak has seen 18 consecutive months of ridership growth and is on track to set a new annual record. With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event is our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month. In addition to high gas prices, the average round-trip domestic airfare is expected to top $375 this summer, which could prompt some travelers to opt for train travel over flying. Jim Sallee, a University of Chicago assistant professor of public economics, said that air travel right now is unpleasant for reasons other than cost.
Speeding up trains significantly through the Northeast could prove difficult, however, because the region is so congested, with different railroads often sharing the same tracks and stations. Matthew Konopka, a 30-year-old economist from Washington, travels to Boston a few times each month.

While some rail travelers lament the extra time it takes to get anywhere via train, others say they enjoy better service, less wait time and extra legroom they get on trains.
Joseph Boardman at the Regional Plan Association’s conference last week at the Waldorf Astoria.
Those two tunnels are more than a century old and carry more more than 160,000 passengers a day. Amtrak’s Silver Star, which runs from New York City to Miami, was up 16.6 percent in April 2011 over the same month last year — the largest percentage increase in a long-distance route. The Air Transport Association on Monday said it expects 206 million passengers will travel on U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Amtrak $450 million to upgrade its rail infrastructure to support faster and high-speed rail service and to improve service between New York and Washington.
In recent years, Amtrak has also received funding to expand its fleet and provide new onboard amenities such as Wi-fi on business-class trains. They are also a dangerously narrow chokepoint on the one of the busiest rail corridors in the world.The state and federally financed project called Access to the Region’s Core would have doubled the number of cross-Hudson tubes and relieved that bottleneck.

Amtrak's literature puts the target completion date at 2030, but Boardman, recounting a panel discussion he'd attended earlier that day, said the panel's consensus was “25 years if you’re lucky.”By his lights, that’s not nearly soon enough, particularly with what he describes as at least a half-billion dollars' worth of Hurricane Sandy-related damage. That could pose some very big problems for the New Jersey commuters and regional rail travelers who rely on those tunnels to get from New Jersey to New York, and back again.“Today those two tunnels carry 24 trains per hour, 24,” he said. So if Amtrak’s selfish and owns the infrastructure and says we’re gonna do our four, well it doesn’t matter whether New Jersey Transit gets two or not, because with two they’re dead anyway. Boardman was making in his comments at the RPA Assembly is that damage from Sandy accelerated what was already an urgent need for additional tunnel capacity between New York and New Jersey,” he continued.

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