Tunnel Trouble: Crumbling Infrastructure Is Putting the Region at Risk

Why We Need New Hudson River Tunnels

The tri-state area is loaded with bridges, rail systems and roadways that are suffering from years of under-investment. But perhaps the biggest risk we face is with the rail tunnel linking New Jersey and New York. Built more than a century ago, the fraying tubes that carry NJ Transit and Amtrak trains are the biggest chokepoint in the Northeast, and the source of frequent delays for commuters. For years, the tunnels have needed extended repairs that are impossible to do while keeping trains running. The situation deteriorated when the tunnels flooded with salt water during Hurricane Sandy. Amtrak officials say the tubes might not last 20 years.

But building new tunnels by themselves won’t suffice. Penn Station is one of the worst transit hubs of any major metropolis, and it needs to be replaced in conjunction with the construction of new rail tunnels. As New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelmann wrote recently, “...upgraded rail service and improved public space in the form of safe, efficient and dignified transit hubs go hand in hand. They’re both environmental and social justice no-brainers.”

How You Can Help 

Are you an allied organization that is interested in joining a regional coalition for expanding rail capacity across the Hudson River. Contact RPA >>

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Penn 2023


RPA on Amtrak Repairs at Penn: Short-Term Pain for Long-Term Gain  RPA, May 2017

New Plans Will Improve Penn, but They Aren’t Enough RPA and The Municipal Art Society of New York, October 2016

A Deal for New Hudson River Tunnels. RPA, November 2015

For the Hudson River Tunnels, Hints of Progress. RPA, August 2015

Regional Transit Leaders Weigh Solutions for Expanding Trans-Hudson Capacity RPA, May 2015

A New Home for Madison Square Garden in Midtown, RPA, October 2014

Alliance for a New Penn Station Commends New York City Council Vote to Grant Time-Limited Permit to Madison Square Garden, RPA, July 2013

Leading Civic Groups Launch 'New Penn Station Alliance', RPA, March 2013