The $13 billion Hudson River tunnel project, aimed at building two new rail tunnels between New York and New Jersey, is again facing funding problems after federal authorities announced a rating that means the project remains “ineligible for critical grant funding.”
New Jersey Transit announced Feb. 27 that it will restore service on the Atlantic City Rail Line (ACRL) and the “Dinky”—a short shuttle line between Princeton Junction on Amtrak‘s Northeast Corridor (NEC) and a point close to downtown Princeton—but riders will still have to wait 85 more days to get their trains back.
It’s not much like the high-speed rail lines in Europe, Japan, and China, but locals still refer to it as the “PATCO Speedline” and have done so for the past 50 years. It travels its 14.2-mile route in 27 minutes, which averages slightly less than 32 miles per hour—not bad for local rail transit.
Bombardier Transportation made it official, announcing it has signed a contract for 113 Multilevel III commuter rail cars with New Jersey Transit worth as much as $669 million.
New Jersey Transit has named veteran passenger railroad executive Raymond P. Kenny as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Rail Operations, effective immediately.
By 2026, provided the procurement is fully funded and all options are exercised, New Jersey Transit—empowered by an infusion of much-needed funding by Governor Phil Murphy following a starvation diet imposed by his predecessor, Chris Christie—will have replaced its entire fleet of aging single-level cars with nearly 650 new Multilevels, many of which will be powered electric vehicles, the first of their type in North America.
New Jersey Transit announced Dec. 5 that Positive Train Control is “95% complete” toward meeting compliance with the Dec. 3, 2018 interim deadline. Concurrently, the agency launched “a new comprehensive communications initiative aimed at improving the customer experience” and announced a procurement for new multi-level railcars.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo toured one of the two North (Hudson) River rail tunnels on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor linking New Jersey and New York to view corrosion and damage, and called on President Trump to support funding for repairs.
Editor’s Note: Following is an edited response to my editorial of Aug. 10, 2018, on a New Jersey Transit board meeting. See below for further clarification.
A detailed assessment of New Jersey Transit calls for the transportation agency to streamline management, improve strategic planning and procurement, and find a source of sustainable funding.