Amtrak considers new N.E. tunnel
Passengers prepare to board the Acela at Union Station. (By Gerald Martineau/The Washington Post)
Amtrak is studying whether there's a need to build a second rail tunnel to handle a growing number of passengers between New Jersey and New York City. Amtrak's master plan for the Northeast Corridor says ridership between Washington and Boston is expected to double by 2030, and the plan says the new tunnel is expected to provide only "some" relief.
The tunnel would be built within 20 years and join the century-old Hudson River crossing and an $8.7 billion tunnel that NJ Transit plans to build by 2017.
More than 1,000 trains arrive at New York's Penn Station from NJ Transit, Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road each weekday.
Recently, Maryland and 10 other states asked federal railroad officials to develop a plan to upgrade high-speed passenger rail service along the Northeast Corridor over the next four decades.
The states proposed that the Federal Railroad Administration launch a three-year, $18.8 million study of possible expansions and improvements to Amtrak and commuter rail service along the Northeast Corridor from Boston to Washington.
Highways and airports in the Northeast already face "major congestion and capacity constraints," and the coalition warned that failure to enhance rail service would severely limit the travel needs of the region's 62 million residents and hurt economic growth.
-- Associated Press
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