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Congressman Leonard Lance Delivers : Up to $2.2 Billion More For Northeast Corridor Rail

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May 17,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

WASHINGTON DC ,  Two major priorities of Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) have been included in the draft text of the fiscal year 2019 U.S. Department of Transportation Appropriations Act. The Northeast Corridor rail projects could earn up to $2.2 billion in new funding included in the bill and language Lance inserted into the draft text will create a reimbursement program for local airports and businesses shuttered due to the protection of President Trump at the Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey.

“Without a new tunnel under the Hudson River the movement of people and goods up and down the East Coast will grind to a halt. That has been my message to colleagues in Congress and we are winning new bipartisan support in our effort to advance this national priority,” said Lance, who led the effort to protect similar funding in the fiscal year 2018 spending measure.

Lance also worked effectively with the Appropriations Committee to include legislative language to create a federal reimbursement system for airports and businesses forced to close due to Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) imposed while President Trump is at Trump National or in Florida. $3.5 million will go to reimbursing those grounded by TFRs.

“It is a matter of fairness that airports and businesses grounded by no fault of their own see some type of compensation. Protecting the President and First Family is the highest priority, but accommodations should be made for those where livelihood is reduced when the President is in town,” Lance continued.

The Northeast Corridor ($650 million), State of Good Repair ($500 million) and Core Capacity ($550 million) and New Start ($500 million) Grants all could contribute to projects related to a new tunnel under the Hudson River, including the Gateway Tunnel and Portal Bridge Project. These funds and new resources for grounded flights still need to go through the legislative process and pass both federal chambers. Lance worked diligently to secure these priorities in the bill, but lawmakers can attempt to target line items in the bill. Such an action occurred last year when a lawmaker from North Carolina offered an amendment removing the Gateway funds. Lance led the effort to defeat to the amendment when it was offered on the House Floor. When the U.S. Senate failed to advance last year’s spending measure, Lance and other pro-Gateway lawmakers successfully secured the funding in the omnibus appropriations package.

“These are major wins for the Garden State that would not have been possible without the leadership of New Jersey’s own Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen,” Lance concluded.

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Amtrak track work at Penn Station New York will impact select NJ TRANSIT peak period train service along the Northeast Corridor

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January 2,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  Upcoming Amtrak track work at Penn Station New York (PSNY) will impact select NJ TRANSIT peak period train service along the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and North Jersey Coast Line (NJCL) with scheduled service adjustments to begin on January 8, 2018 through May 28, 2018.

The work will mainly affect a total of five trains per day which includes two in the a.m. peak and three in the p.m. peak periods. Of these five trains, one NJCL train in both the a.m. and p.m. will be diverted to Hoboken; one NEC train in both the a.m. and p.m. will terminate/originate at Newark Penn Station and another NJCL train in the p.m. will be cancelled. Other trains and other train lines may have adjustments made to the timetable or station stops, and customers are advised to check the service timetables carefully.

“While this impact is far less than what we experienced this past summer, we encourage our Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line customers to do their homework and adjust their commuting plans if needed,” said Executive Director Steven H. Santoro. “I want to thank our customers in advance as we continue to support Amtrak’s efforts to renew critical infrastructure at Penn Station New York and avoid a repeat of the derailments we saw this past spring.”

The affected trains are as follows:

A.M.

NJCL train 3216, the 6:11 a.m. eastbound Long Branch departure, will now depart at 6:23 a.m. and will be diverted to Hoboken renumbered as 2604
NEC train 3122, the 7:06 a.m. eastbound departure from New Brunswick will terminate at Newark Penn Station renumbered as 5822.

P.M.

NJCL train 3267, the 5:25 p.m. departure from PSNY, will originate from Hoboken at 5:22 p.m. renumbered as 2609
NEC train 3171, the 5:43 p.m. departure from PSNY, will originate at Newark Penn Station at 6:03 p.m. renumbered as 5869
NJCL train 3441, the 6:51 p.m. departure from PSNY, will be cancelled

Customers are advised that trains prior to or following the affected trains may experience crowded conditions.

Alternate travel options

Customers with flexibility in their travel may consider the following alternate options:

NJCL customers may consider utilizing private bus carriers such as Academy Bus from locations including the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel. Visit www.academybus.com for complete details.
NJCL customers may also consider ferry service from Monmouth County including NY Waterway’s ferry from Belford www.nywaterway.com or Seastreak ferry from Highlands or Atlantic Highlands www.seastreak.com.
NEC customers may consider private bus carriers including Suburban Transit/Coach USA bus from points in Mercer and Middlesex Counties www.coachusa.com.
Customers may also utilize NJ TRANSIT bus service on the Route 9 corridor.

Travel Tips

New York bound customers who choose to continue taking a train which now terminates at Newark Penn Station should purchase their tickets/passes to Newark Penn Station and then purchase tickets/passes for PATH.

New York bound customers who choose to continue taking a train which now terminates/originates at Hoboken Terminal should purchase their tickets/passes to Hoboken and then purchase tickets/passes for PATH or NY Waterway ferry.

Check njtransit.com or news media before starting your trip for service advisories or alerts that may affect your trip.
Stay connected during your commute through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Search for rail, bus or light rail-specific Twitter accounts for the best information. While we make every effort to respond to comments posted on our social media channels, we recommend that you contact our Customer Service team directly with critical or time-sensitive issues.
Twitter: @NJTRANSIT
Facebook: facebook.com/NJTRANSIT
YouTube Channel: TheNewJerseyTransit
If you will be altering your travel pattern during this time, you may want to update your travel alert preferences in your My Transit account. If you do not have a My Transit account, sign up to receive alerts at njtransit.com/mytransit.

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AMTRAK SIGNAL WORK TO IMPACT NJ TRANSIT CUSTOMERS NOV 10-12

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Amtrak’s work, between Newark Penn Station and Secaucus, continues their effort to maintain its Northeast Corridor

October 30,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, NJ TRANSIT is advising customers of upcoming Amtrak signal work which will impact rail travel Friday night November 10th through Saturday and Sunday November 11th-12th.  Amtrak’s work, between Newark Penn Station and Secaucus, continues their effort to maintain its Northeast Corridor in a state of good repair.

NJ TRANSIT is relying on assurances by Amtrak the work will be complete prior to the start of the Monday morning rush hour on November 13th.

Beginning at 9 p.m. on Friday, November 10th and continuing through the end of service on Sunday, November 12th, customers traveling on the Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line may experience delays of up to 60 minutes in both directions.  The Amtrak work will require signals near Newark Penn Station to be taken out of service, requiring trains to operate at restricted speeds.

To accommodate this signal work and manage train traffic through the area, NJ TRANSIT will not operate the Northeast Corridor 7600 series trains between Rahway and Penn Station New York.  Customers will be accommodated by the following train which is scheduled 5-10 minutes behind the 7600 series.  Those trains will add a station stop at North Elizabeth.

During that same time, Amtrak will maximize this work period to also perform track work where the Raritan Valley Line connects with the Northeast Corridor.  Customers on the Raritan Valley Line will have substitute busing in place to/from Newark Penn Station as follows:

Friday night 11/10 9 p.m. through the end of the service day busing will be in place in both directions between Cranford and Newark Penn Station.
Saturday 11/11 and Sunday 11/12 busing will be in place all day in both directions between Union and Newark Penn Station.

Customers on these three rail lines (NEC, NJCL, RVL) are advised to allow for extra time to and from their destinations.  Customers also should pay close attention to station and crew announcements.

This work will impact customers on the NEC, NJCL and RVL planning to attend the following sports events and concerts.  Customers are strongly encouraged to allow plenty of extra travel time:

11/11 NY Rangers at MSG 1 p.m.
11/11 NY Knicks at MSG at 8 p.m.
11/11 NJ Devils at Prudential Center at 7 p.m.
11/12 Dead & Company concert at MSG at 7 p.m.

Important Note: M&E and Midtown Direct service will NOT be impacted by this Amtrak signal work.

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Hudson Tunnel Project Environmental Impact Evaluation

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May 15,2015

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Ridgewood commuters ,the Federal Railroad Administration and NJ TRANSIT are jointly preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate the Hudson Tunnel Project. Two public meetings have been set up with will offer a presentation and take comments .

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and NJ TRANSIT are jointly preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate the Hudson Tunnel Project. The Project is intended to preserve the current functionality of the Northeast Corridor’s (NEC) Hudson River rail crossing between New Jersey and New York and strengthen the resilience of the NEC. The Project would consist of construction of a new rail tunnel beneath the Hudson River, including railroad infrastructure in New Jersey and New York connecting the new rail tunnel to the existing NEC, and rehabilitation of the existing NEC tunnel beneath the Hudson River, referred to as the North River Tunnel.

The North River Tunnel is used by Amtrak for intercity passenger rail service and by NJ TRANSIT for commuter rail service. The approach to the tunnel begins east of NJ TRANSIT’s Frank R. Lautenberg Station in Secaucus, NJ (which is 5 miles east of Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT’s Newark Penn Station). East of the Secaucus station, the NEC has two tracks that approach the tunnel on a raised embankment through the towns of Secaucus and North Bergen, NJ. Tracks enter a tunnel portal in North Bergen, passing beneath Union City and Weehawken, NJ and the Hudson River before emerging within the Penn Station New York (PSNY) rail complex in New York City. The tunnel has two separate tubes, each accommodating a single track for electrically powered trains, and extends approximately 2.5 miles from the tunnel portal in North Bergen to PSNY.  The existing North River Tunnel is a critical NEC asset and is the only intercity passenger rail crossing into New York City from New Jersey and areas west and south.

Service reliability throughout the tunnel has been compromised because of the damage to tunnel components caused by Superstorm Sandy, which inundated both tubes in the North River Tunnel with seawater in October 2012, resulting in the cancellation of all Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT service into New York City for five days. While the tunnel was restored to service and is now safe for travel, chlorides from the seawater remain in the tunnel’s concrete liner and bench walls, causing ongoing damage to the bench walls, imbedded steel, track, and signaling and electrical components.

The damage caused by Superstorm Sandy is compounded by the tunnel’s age and the intensity of its current use (operating at capacity to meet current demands), resulting in frequent delays due to component failures within the tunnel.

Public Scoping Meetings

FRA and NJ TRANSIT will hold two public scoping meetings on the following dates:

May 17, 2016
Hotel Pennsylvania
Gold Ballroom, 3rd Floor
401 Seventh Avenue at West 33rd Street
New York, NY

May 19, 2016
Union City High School
2500 Kennedy Boulevard
Union City, NJ

Both days will include an afternoon session from 3 to 5 PM with a brief presentation about the Project at 4 PM, and an evening session from 6 to 8 PM with a brief presentation about the Project at 7 PM. The public will be able to review Project information, talk informally with members of the study staff, and formally submit comments to the FRA (to a stenographer or in writing). The meeting facilities will be accessible to persons with disabilities. Spanish language translators will be present. If special translation or signing services or other special accommodations are needed, please contact the Project team five days prior to the meeting at 973-261-8115, or email [email protected]