The Hudson Tunnel Project
The Hudson Tunnel Project includes the design and construction of a new Hudson River rail tunnel serving Penn Station, New York, and the rehabilitation and modernization of the existing North River Tunnel which incurred serious and ongoing damage during Super Storm Sandy.
The high level of traffic in the existing North River Tunnel – approximately 450 trains per weekday – means that without this project, taking one of the North River Tunnel tubes out of service for necessary repairs would severely reduce rail service because the remaining tube would have to accommodate two-way traffic. This very significant reduction in capacity would have a devastating effect on New York and New Jersey commuters who cross the Hudson on a daily basis, Amtrak passengers, and the regional and national economies.
Approximately 200,000 daily passenger trips take place in the existing North River Tunnel, which was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad and completed in 1910. The tunnel consists of two, single-track, electrified rail tubes, which provide the only passenger rail connections between Manhattan and New Jersey, and the rest of the Northeast Corridor to the south. In October 2012 the tunnel was inundated with millions of gallons of salt water during Super Storm Sandy, leaving behind corrosive chlorides, which continue to damage the concrete tunnel liner and bench walls, which house critical electrical and signaling systems that support train operations in the tunnel.
The Federal Railroad Administration announced its intent to jointly prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Hudson Tunnel Project with NJ TRANSIT on May 2, 2016 pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The FRA and NJ TRANSIT are coordinating with Amtrak, the owner of the existing North River Tunnel, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, on the EIS. While the Hudson Tunnel Project has independent utility, its advancement will not preclude future capacity improvements planned for the Northeast Corridor, such as the Gateway Program. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement released July 2017 can be viewed here.
Full funding for the environmental planning work and preliminary engineering of the Hudson Tunnel Project has been provided by Amtrak, the Port Authority, and NJ TRANSIT totaling $86.5 million.
More information on the Hudson Tunnel Project EIS and how the public can get involved is available at HudsonTunnelProject.com.
- Preservation of existing rail service
- Operational flexibility
- U.S. DOT Federal Railroad Administration
- NJ TRANSIT
- Port Authority of New York and New Jersey