NEW YORK — Amtrak and New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority have reached agreement on funding two projects to aid rail travel in the New York City area.
The New York Times reports that, in a deal brokered by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Amtrak will use $500 million of the money it received from the recently signed $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill toward the $2.87 billion Penn Station Access project, which will use Amtrak’s route north of the city to allow Metro-North commuter trains to reach Penn Station [see “Plan to bring Metro-North service to Penn Station gets federal approval,” Trains News Wire, Sept. 29, 2021].
In return, the MTA will spend as much as $432 million on a $1.3 billion project to repair Amtrak’s East River tunnels, which are also used by Long Island Rail Road trains. Those tunnels were damaged by flooding during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
“The East River Tunnels are the most important link in the commute of hundreds of thousands of Long Islanders,” Schumer told the Times, “and a problem in one tunnel — like we have seen in the past — creates a nightmarish domino effect for the entire LIRR system, and that’s not acceptable, and now it will be addressed.”