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ICYMI: Governor Hochul Announces $6.76 Billion for New York Passenger Rail Projects From Biden Administration Infrastructure Grants

Updated Nov 6, 2023 3:00 p.m.

Hudson Tunnel Project, Metro-North Penn Access, East River Tunnels Rehabilitation and Design for Pelham Bay Bridge Replacement Advance 

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the Biden Administration has awarded of $6.76 billion for downstate passenger rail projects that are critical to ensuring the region’s economy continues to thrive and expand. Under Bipartisan Infrastructure Law grants announced today by the Federal Railroad Administration, four key New York projects that renew and expand the region’s rail network will receive the following Federal investments. 

  • Gateway Program: Hudson Tunnel Project Systems and Fit Out ($3.80 billion) 
  • Metro-North Railroad Penn Station Access with Four New Stations in the Bronx ($1.64 billion) 
  • Rehabilitation of East River Tunnels to Penn Station ($1.26 billion) 
  • Pelham Bay Bridge Replacement ($58 million) 

“President Biden’s ambitious transportation agenda is paying dividends for New Yorkers,” Governor Hochul said. “New York State is investing billions in the MTA and in infrastructure statewide, including in projects that directly benefit Amtrak. This latest funding will help us deliver modern, safe, and reliable public transportation to underserved communities, while boosting the regional economy. I’m thankful for partnership with the Biden Administration and the leadership of Senator Schumer.” 
MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, “New Yorkers have never had such good friends in Washington as the Biden Administration and our hometown hero, Senator Chuck Schumer. This latest shot of federal funding for Metro-North Penn Access will help us get more out of existing infrastructure and will transform commutes for not only thousands of people living in transit-deprived areas of the East Bronx, but also for Amtrak customers who will benefit from the rebuilt Hell Gate Line. Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, New York is enjoying a Golden Age of transit investment and expansion.” 
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said, “I’ve fought so hard to advance these vital, transformative, and equity-delivering transportation projects for New York, and now with tens of billions of dollars delivered via the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Gateway is all systems go, Long Island’s Sandy-damaged East River Tunnel will be repaired, the people of the East and South Bronx will have a new rail line, and Westchester residents will have shorter commutes. With the massive infusion of federal funding, including $3.8 billion for Gateway, $1.6 billion for Penn Station Access, and $1.2 billion for the East River Tunnels, New York is building the next generation of public transit that will keep our city growing, keep attracting new people and businesses, and provide more accessible, reliable and equitable transit New Yorkers deserve.” 
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, “These critical modernization projects will greatly improve Amtrak service along the Northeast Corridor for countless passengers. I have long supported these efforts in New York, and I am thrilled to see these projects come to life, which will create billions of dollars in economic activity for the region. These funding awards will allow for a range of work to be done, including on the East River Tunnel project, the Penn Station Access project, the Hudson Tunnel project, and the Pelham Bay Bridge Replacement project. I am proud to have helped secure these awards, and I will continue to support Amtrak to upgrade the Northeast Corridor and ensure better service for passengers.” 
Representative Jerrold Nadler said, “Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we now have a once in a generation opportunity to transform travel throughout the Northeast Corridor—and I applaud the Biden Administration for awarding $6.76 billion which will renew and expand transit services from Penn Station. I’m proud of my work with my colleagues in the New York State Delegation to secure this funding and look forward to continued progress on these critical projects for our region.” 
Summaries of the rail projects follow. 
Hudson Tunnel Project 
The Hudson Tunnel Project will construct a new two-track tunnel under the Hudson River and rehabilitate the existing North River Tunnel, which was severely damaged during Superstorm Sandy, to improve reliability, resiliency, and redundancy for hundreds of thousands of daily passengers who travel across the Hudson River, and allow for much-needed repairs on an essential stretch of the Northeast Corridor. More information about the project is available at the Gateway Program’s homepage
Metro-North Penn Access 
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is overseeing construction of four new Metro-North stations in the East Bronx and track and infrastructure enhancements that will enable the expansion of Metro-North’s New Haven Line to Penn Station and bring Amtrak-owned infrastructure to a state of good repair. The new route will dramatically reduce travel time to and from the East Bronx, which currently lacks rail service. Residents will save up to 75 minutes over current subway and bus connections and creates a direct commuter rail route between the Bronx and Westchester and Connecticut. It also gives Metro-North a second terminal in Manhattan, a critical backup, and is the largest expansion of Metro-North since it was founded 40 years ago. More information about the Penn Station Access project is available from the MTA’s Penn Station Access homepage. 
Rehabilitation of Amtrak’s East River Tunnels to Penn Station 
Crews will rehabilitate two Amtrak-owned rail tunnels between Queens and Penn Station that were damaged by salt water flooding during Superstorm Sandy. The tunnels are used by all Amtrak service to New England and hundreds of Long Island Rail Road trains per day along with non-passenger NJ Transit and Amtrak trains traveling to Sunnyside Yard for storage. They will be also used by Metro-North trains when Penn Station Access service begins in 2027. The new tunnels will feature improved track that is directly fixed to the tunnel, all-new components, and enhanced climate resiliency.  
Pelham Bay Bridge Replacement Project 
Amtrak has proposed a final design to replace the existing 115-year-old two-track Pelham Bay Bridge in the Bronx with a new structure that will facilitate higher speed travel and fewer bridge openings.