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Gateway Project/NYP Capacity Improvement

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jis

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Would it be a lot cheaper to build one new tube (for a total of three tunnels) for more trains and a 4th, smaller tube for emergency vehicles?
If you have to dig two tubes might as well dig two full size ones. The cost difference between digging two full size tubes and one full and one smaller sized tube is not that great, and eventually when you do have to dig the second full size tube, the overall cost will turn out to be way higher. If two full size tubes are dug, one could save a small amount by not equipping the second tube with tracks, OHE and signaling equipment. But that seems like a truly silly thing to do.

I can't believe that in the allegedly richest country in the world we even require to have this discussion. The cost of the two tunnels is literally peanuts compared to random things that we do choose to spend money on.
 
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You mean like subsidies for peanut farmers? :)
That's essential! Peanuts, especially within such fine products as Reese's are essential, important protein (justification for eating Reese's from co-worker, peanuts are protein!). Hmmm, maybe Reese's can help pay for the tunnel? With a cup shaped terminal building?
 

MARC Rider

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That's essential! Peanuts, especially within such fine products as Reese's are essential, important protein (justification for eating Reese's from co-worker, peanuts are protein!). Hmmm, maybe Reese's can help pay for the tunnel? With a cup shaped terminal building?
Aside from the fact that it's not clear how much actual peanut (and thus protein) is in a Reese's Peanut butter cup, if peanuts are so essential to life as we know it, shouldn't the magical hand of the free market be sufficient to ensure a plentiful supply at affordable prices? Why do we need to subsidize the peanut farmers? (And in the case of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, we also subsidize the sugar growers, who probably produce more of the content of a Reese's Peanut Butter cup than the peanut farmers.)
 

MARC Rider

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Aside from the fact that it's not clear how much actual peanut (and thus protein) is in a Reese's Peanut butter cup, if peanuts are so essential to life as we know it, shouldn't the magical hand of the free market be sufficient to ensure a plentiful supply at affordable prices? Why do we need to subsidize the peanut farmers? (And in the case of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, we also subsidize the sugar growers, who probably produce more of the content of a Reese's Peanut Butter cup than the peanut farmers.)
Farm subsidies, by the way, were at about $20+ billion last year according the npr.
I believe the cost of the Gateway tunnels is somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 billion. It might be more if you add the various upgrades that need to be done on the approaches (Portal Bridge, etc.) and upgrades to Penn Station itself.
 

jis

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Farm subsidies, by the way, were at about $20+ billion last year according the npr.
I believe the cost of the Gateway tunnels is somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 billion. It might be more if you add the various upgrades that need to be done on the approaches (Portal Bridge, etc.) and upgrades to Penn Station itself.
And that $15-$20 billion for Gateway would be spread out over 10-15 years, so it will never be more than around $2 billion or so a year.
 

MARC Rider

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And that $15-$20 billion for Gateway would be spread out over 10-15 years, so it will never be more than around $2 billion or so a year.
Has anyone ever costed out the annual price tag for all the desirable rail infrastucture improvements needed across the country? In addition to Gateway in New York, there's the other stuff on the NEC, like the B&P tunnel, and the Susquehanna River bridge. Then there's all of those projects around Chicago, and the "south of the lake," which benefit both passenger and freight rail. There must be other critical chokepoints that could be fixed to improve the performance of rail as both a passenger and freight mode.
 

Andrew

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Would NJ Transit be able to add more Rush Hour trains after the Gateway Tunnels are built even if the Block 780 Station Expansion is not constructed?
 

west point

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Would NJ Transit be able to add more Rush Hour trains after the Gateway Tunnels are built even if the Block 780 Station Expansion is not constructed?
Once the new tunnel bores are is operation and the old tunnels are fixed Amtrak and NJT will need to change procedures at NYP to run more trains. It will also require more steps and escalators to platforms to reduce dwell times. Steps and escalators cannot be too wide as they would limit passage between their walls and rail cars. Have to have ADA transit space.
 

Andrew

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Once the new tunnel bores are is operation and the old tunnels are fixed Amtrak and NJT will need to change procedures at NYP to run more trains. It will also require more steps and escalators to platforms to reduce dwell times. Steps and escalators cannot be too wide as they would limit passage between their walls and rail cars. Have to have ADA transit space.
I ask because I do think that the new hudson tunnels will eventually be built, and thus NJ Transit will be able to add more NEC and direct Raritan Valley Line trains into and out of Manhattan. However, I am not convinced that the Block 780 station will ever get built due to a variety of reasons. Also, NJ Transit is already looking at extending one concourse to add a pare of staircases to the platforms at Penn Station.

Maybe a new operating plan could be created to only have Morris and Essex line trains and the Raritan trains to use the new tunnels so as to reduce train conflicts at Swift Interlocking in New Jersey?
 

Green Maned Lion

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I have a feeling Gateway will be a victim of the coronavirus, not just because of cost, but of obviated need. Rail and transit usage in this country is going to permanently go down as a result of fear and general American stupidity, of which we have a surfeit.

In addition to people choosing to commute in their own sealed automobiles, this event has also made it clear how redundant both a portion of the workforce is, as well as the need to house them in expensive downtown office buildings 5 days a week.
 

Andrew

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Are you saying that you now believe that the Gateway Project is permanently cancelled?
 

west point

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I go the other way. There may be more persons taking Amtrak. This economic downturn ( I know that is being optimistic ) will cause many persons to be unable to buy a reliable auto. They will then be forced to take some kind of public transportation.
 

Palmetto

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Interesting to read today that Richard Anderson, in an interview with Politico, thinks that among transportation modes, passenger rail will be the first to bounce back. He also "outed" as to being a railroad nerd. Who knew? :D
 

jiml

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I go the other way. There may be more persons taking Amtrak. This economic downturn ( I know that is being optimistic ) will cause many persons to be unable to buy a reliable auto. They will then be forced to take some kind of public transportation.
It's not just that. Shorthaul air travel is bound to take a hit. Any two points that can be connected by a day's drive or train trip are not going to be attractive to fly for many reasons. If airlines are forced to maintain distancing in their cabins (which appears to be the case) they're going to need something bigger than a regional jet. Something bigger costs more, so will likely be less frequent and more expensive. It could be a "win" for Amtrak, VIA and others.
 

Green Maned Lion

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All of these comments are based on an extraordinarily flawed assumption- That travel of any significant distance will be anything close to what it was before this pandemic. It won’t. Reliable self transportation is extremely inexpensive; i’ve paid less than $1000 for a reliable automobile several times.

but the main thing is is that people just aren’t going to be moving very far from where they normally are situated. This is not going to be a win for anybody, certainly not Amtrak which is already operating at close to capacity, or at least it was before the pandemic. If Amtrak gets very lucky – very very lucky - they might potentially return to their previous volume. But that would surprise me greatly.

I also expect the existence of intercity bus travel to largely disappear. Greyhound was already 1 foot in the grave, this is going to have them jumping in both feet. A lot of the smaller intercity bus lines are on the weak side as well. It is just going to be harder for people to get from place to place. At least unless you own an automobile or can afford an Uber
 
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If the downturn (recession, depression, whatever) turns out to be long, people won't be travelling much, especially people with no money, cheap car or no. And with the potential of a long period with waves of infections from the coronavirus, people will travel by car, but I think it won't hurt Amtrak* as much as it will airlines which will be seen as petri dishes. Funnily enough though, cruise lines are gearing up, they seem to be thinking people have short memories, if that's the case, then things might get back to "normal" quicker.

*Especially if more grants like yesterdays, both Federal and State, come to pass.
 

AGM.12

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I don't suppose it has been mentioned, but the glut of crude oil has made driving cheaper and probably will stay that way for the near term. This is a double edge sword for Amtrak and the freight railroads. The downside is obvious, but the cost of diesel will fall. This is the time to lock in these lower prices.
 

railiner

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I don't suppose it has been mentioned, but the glut of crude oil has made driving cheaper and probably will stay that way for the near term. This is a double edge sword for Amtrak and the freight railroads. The downside is obvious, but the cost of diesel will fall. This is the time to lock in these lower prices.
I'm convinced. Since I won't be going on cruises or cross country train rides for the foreseeable future, I am going to satisfy my 'wanderlust', by purchasing a motorhome, and take advantage of the low fuel prices...
 

MARC Rider

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Reliable self transportation is extremely inexpensive; i’ve paid less than $1000 for a reliable automobile several times.
Please point me to where I can find a reliable used car for less than $1,000. (that doesn't involve advanced haggling skills.) Our 2001 Honda CRV is about ready to give up the ghost, and anything we can find that doesn't already have 100,000 miles on it costs at least $10,000.
 

Bob Dylan

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Please point me to where I can find a reliable used car for less than $1,000. (that doesn't involve advanced haggling skills.) Our 2001 Honda CRV is about ready to give up the ghost, and anything we can find that doesn't already have 100,000 miles on it costs at least $10,000.
But an Asian Car ( Toyota,Honda,Hyundai ) that's under 100,00 miles with a Clean Carfax and you'll have a good Second Vehicle/ errand car!( as slways,have a Mechanic you trust give it a thorough Indpection)
 

Green Maned Lion

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Please point me to where I can find a reliable used car for less than $1,000. (that doesn't involve advanced haggling skills.) Our 2001 Honda CRV is about ready to give up the ghost, and anything we can find that doesn't already have 100,000 miles on it costs at least $10,000.
Well back when I was buying such cars, Mercedes W123 chassis cars were still available at reasonable prices. More modern Benzes are an entirely different ball of wax, reliability and maintenance wise, so that would be out, unless you can find a lower mileage MB 240D. It wouldn’t be under $1k but it would be way under your price range.

However I would suggest 1.9 liter VW TDI from the late 90s or early 2000s with a five speed stick (way way WAY cheaper to maintain with the manual gearbox), preferably in basic GL trim with crank windows. You can get those under $1k with less than 200k miles on them. That would be a reliable used car.

I’m not sure why you think your Honda is giving up the ghost, though.
 

Bob Dylan

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Well back when I was buying such cars, Mercedes W123 chassis cars were still available at reasonable prices. More modern Benzes are an entirely different ball of wax, reliability and maintenance wise, so that would be out, unless you can find a lower mileage MB 240D. It wouldn’t be under $1k but it would be way under your price range.

However I would suggest 1.9 liter VW TDI from the late 90s or early 2000s with a five speed stick (way way WAY cheaper to maintain with the manual gearbox), preferably in basic GL trim with crank windows. You can get those under $1k with less than 200k miles on them. That would be a reliable used car.

I’m not sure why you think your Honda is giving up the ghost, though.
I had one of the VW TDIs, a 92 Golf! ( bought it used with 52,000 miles)

Put over 200,000 Miles on it, then I sold it to a guy who got another 150,000 before it got wrecked.( As you know Diesel used to be Cheaper than Gas)

Great Car!( made in Germany,not the Mexican Golf)
 
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