Railroad Passengers Urge Obama Administration to Intervene in Hudson River Railroad Tunnels Project

Release #09-01—January 13, 2009

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In a statement released today, the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) calls for “the Obama Administration to exercise its constitutional obligation to advance interstate commerce” by requiring New Jersey Transit’s Access to the Region’s Core project to connect to New York’s Penn Station.  The statement also encourages support of commuter train “through-running” between Long Island and New Jersey, building on Gov. Paterson’s September statement that “we have to unify these systems and make them work together to create efficiency.”

The statement also notes that “NARP does not support construction of NJT’s planned deep cavern terminal station some 175 feet below 34th Street in Midtown Manhattan. It does not permit connecting the new tunnels with Penn Station, adds a serious security risk, and would cost up to $3 billion more than the direct track connection favored by NARP, New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers, Empire State Passengers Association and the Lackawanna Coalition.  It would add four to five minutes per trip in each direction for many Jersey-Manhattan commuters and would be especially inconvenient for passengers transferring to or from Penn Station.”

NARP called for a “cooperative planning process aimed at making best use of existing facilities [to] explore system expansion options, including the addition of tracks and platforms on Penn Station’s south side and a Penn Station-Grand Central Terminal track connection.”

The full statement is available here on our website.

About NARP

NARP is the largest citizen-based organization advocating for train and rail transit passengers. We have worked since 1967 to expand the quality and quantity of passenger train service in the U.S. Our mission is to work towards a modern, customer-focused national passenger train network that provides a travel choice Americans want. Our work is supported by over 24,000 individual members.