Needed Work to Fix New York Tunnels Reinforces Importance of Gateway Program
At Amtrak, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide customers with a critical transportation option. We get you where you need to go safely, efficiently and reliably. In a place like Penn Station, New York — open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year — it is imperative that we are equipped to serve the more than 650,000 Amtrak, commuter and subway passengers that pass through the station doors daily.
Nearly two years ago, Superstorm Sandy slammed into the Northeast. Both tubes of the Hudson River tunnel and two of the four tubes of the East River tunnel were inundated with sea water, halting travel to the busiest train station in the country. An engineering report we’ve made public details that chlorides and sulfates have infiltrated key components of the tunnels and are causing ongoing damage, and details the work needed to fix our New York tunnels to ensure that they remain sustainable for long-term use by the traveling public. The work that needs to be done will require individual tunnel tubes to be out of service for extended periods of time. This underscores the urgency to move forward with the Gateway Program, a series of infrastructure projects that will double train capacity between Newark, New Jersey, and Penn Station, New York. The program includes construction of a new tunnel bringing additional two track capacity under the Hudson River that will facilitate capacity, resiliency and expansion opportunities and permit closure of the existing tubes to perform the necessary work.
We want to ensure our passengers that the tunnels leading into Penn Station, New York are safe. We have employees dedicated to performing thorough tunnel inspections, regular maintenance and interim repair work as needed. Amtrak engineers are working with expert consultants on designs to perform the restoration and reconstruction work for two damaged tubes of the East River tunnel. Much of the restoration and reconstruction work for both damaged tubes of the Hudson River tunnel will not be possible until after the new Gateway tunnel is built and operating. Amtrak is advancing the Gateway Program and seeking to begin as soon as possible the environmental review process.
For more information about our improvement projects and continued investment along the Northeast Corridor, visit our Northeast Corridor website, nec.amtrak.com.