WASHINGTON – Tony Coscia, Chairman of the Amtrak Board of Directors, issued the following statement in response to U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s announcement to provide the critical first step to pave the way for two desperately-needed, flood-resistant tunnels under the Hudson River:
“The federal funding announced today makes it possible to Amtrak to begin construction this summer on a project to preserve a pathway for two new rail tunnels into New York that are critical for the future mobility and economic growth of the entire Northeast region. This project to build an 800-foot concrete casing through the Hudson Yards commercial development property will protect the only viable right-of-way for connecting the tunnels to the existing tracks and platforms at Penn Station, New York.
“The new tunnels are one element of the Amtrak Gateway Program to increase rail infrastructure capacity between Newark, N.J., and Penn Station, New York. By eliminating this bottleneck into New York City, which today is the Northeast Corridor’s most congested segment, the Gateway Program will increase resiliency against severe weather events, add redundancy and reliability for Amtrak and New Jersey Transit’s shared operations, and provide additional capacity for the future increases in commuter, intercity and high-speed rail service.”
Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. Amtrak and its state and commuter partners move people, the economy and the nation forward. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. In FY 2014, nearly 31 million passengers traveled on Amtrak on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Enjoy the journey® at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter (@Amtrak) and check out our blog at blog.amtrak.com.