Amtrak Exec: Delays May Become More Common

TRENTON (AP) -

Train delays like the ones caused recently by electrical problems in a century-old Hudson River tunnel could become much more common if a new tunnel isn’t built, an Amtrak executive told New Jersey lawmakers Monday.

Even if that anticipated $14 billion project were started now, it wouldn’t be complete until 2025 at the earliest, said Stephen Gardner, Amtrak’s vice president of Northeast Corridor infrastructure investment.

Amtrak’s goal is to “keep the tunnel in working order to support the traffic we have today,” Gardner said, adding that the tunnel is safe. “Every day we defer is expanding our risk.”

Several days of train delays last month renewed attention on the push to build a new tunnel. Monday’s hearing came as the major stakeholders in a tunnel project — the governors of New Jersey and New York, the Port Authority and the federal Department of Transportation — grapple with how to pay for it.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx sent a letter to Govs. Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo urging them to meet with him within two weeks to plan new crossings.