If the only rail link between New Jersey and Manhattan shuttered, homes in the region would see a drop in home value by $22 billion, according to a report released on Tuesday. An analysis from the Regional Plan Association highlights the economic effects of a partial shutdown of the Hudson River tunnel, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy and carries 200,000 daily passengers via Amtrak and NJ Transit. To make repairs to the 110-year-old tunnels, officials have called for a $13 billion project that would construct a second tunnel to keep service operating while the existing tunnel is restored. But President Donald Trump’s administration said it will not support the Gateway tunnel project, making a partial shutdown of the tunnel more likely, according to the RPA (h/t Crain’s).
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Rendering of Metropolitan Lounge via FXCollaborative
New renderings, as well as additional details, were released this week of Amtrak’s new amenity space in Moynihan Train Hall. ClubAcela is getting rebranded as the Metropolitan Lounge and moving across the street from Penn Station to the new train hall, which is set to open in early 2021. Designed by FXCollaborative, the sleek new space offers more room, private restrooms, free WiFi, and better food and drink options.
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Amtrak is taking a close look at Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s possibly-disaster-averting new L train repair strategy as a “common sense solution” for their own damaged tunnels between Manhattan and Queens, the Daily News reports. The agency would, of course, subject the tunnel fix to more scrutiny before making a decision. Amtrak chairman Anthony Coscia said “It is important for us to do a thorough vetting so that we can determine now at this stage whether it’s a methodology that we could use. Because if it is, it will make the process far less painful to our travelers,” much like the new subway solution would allegedly be.
Could this make the Gateway Project obsolete?
Photo via NYCEDC
The master planning process for the Sunnyside Yard project, a mammoth plan to build a new, fully planned neighborhood to Queens, will begin this summer, the city announced Thursday. Along with Amtrak, the city’s economic development corporation said it will form a steering committee made up of local leaders and planning experts who will organize meetings and workshops to gain feedback from local residents. The Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) has officially been tapped to lead the planning process.
A 2017 feasibility study found 70 acres of the 180-acre development would be viable for development. According to the city, the project could bring between roughly 11,000 and 15,000 new housing units and 15 to 20 acres of open space, new schools and retail amenities. About 3,300 to 4,500 new permanently affordable units could also be created. As of last year, the plan has an estimated price tag of $10 billion.
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Grand Central Terminal; image via Wikimedia
Last year, when Amtrak first announced eight weeks of infrastructure repairs at Penn Station, all hell broke loose. Gov. Andrew Cuomo predicted the planned work would cause a “summer of hell” for commuters and even asked President Donald Trump for emergency federal funds. But, to the surprise of many, the disruption proved to be mild and the repairs even finished ahead of schedule. Promising another painless process, Amtrak announced on Tuesday plans for track work at Penn Station again this summer. From May 26 to Sept. 4, trains that run along the Hudson River will be routed from Penn Station to Grand Central. Schedules for Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North trains will remain unaffected.
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Image via Wikimedia Commons.
If you’ve ever found yourself lost in a maze of corridors or trampled in a boarding stampede at Penn Station, help may have arrived in the form of yet another useful mobile app. Beginning this week, Amtrak will offer a free app, FindYourWay, that helps travelers–65,000 of whom pass through the station each day–find their way through the station and avoid the crush of crowds that form around electronic boards announcing train departures, the New York Times reports.
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Amtrak workers setting concrete on track 10 at Penn Station this summer, image via Amtrak
Amtrak announced on Monday its plan for the second phase of track renewal projects for Penn Station, set to begin this winter. Between January 5 and May 28 of next year, there will be continuous single-track closures, affecting Amtrak and commuter train operation at the Midtown transit hub. While similar to the infrastructure repairs that took place for eight weeks this past June, dubbed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as the “summer of hell,” the impact will be less severe for commuters and most of the work will take place on the weekends.
Updated rendering of parcel c for Hunters Point South, courtesy of ODA Architecture
TF Cornerstone on Thursday filed its first permits for a 1,200-unit apartment building as the second phase of the city’s Hunters Point South redevelopment, a project that first began in 2013. The plan for the waterfront neighborhood in Long Island City, Queens called for a mixed-use, affordable housing development that would hold up to 5,000 units, with 60 percent of them affordable. Selected for phase two of the ambitious project by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, TF Cornerstone’s original proposal was delayed for four years after local, state and federal authorities forced the developer to rethink its design (h/t Crain’s).
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Photo via Kev Harb on Flickr
After announcing the official end of the “summer of hell” last week, Amtrak said the next thing on their to-do list is to finally fix the disgusting and dilapidated bathrooms at Penn Station. Both men’s and women’s bathrooms at the busiest transit center in the country will be refurbished beginning this fall, as the New York Times reported.
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Amtrak workers setting concrete on track 10 at Penn Station, image via Amtrak
Amtrak announced on Thursday that the eight weeks of infrastructure repairs at Penn Station predicted to be the “summer of hell” by Governor Cuomo, have officially ended ahead of the scheduled Monday deadline (h/t WNYC). Following a series of train derailments and system failures, Amtrak began repairing and replacing tracks in July. Over 360 workers installed six football fields worth of track and 176 yards of concrete this summer, according to Amtrak. While regular transit operations at Penn Station will resume Sept. 5, more repair work will continue through June 2018, with most of the work taking place on the weekends.
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