It looks like Amtrak will be getting an additional 20 million dollars to continue work on a new Hudson River Rail tunnel connecting Jersey and New York.

Money for the project is included as part of the FY 2013 Senate Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill. The bill must now be approved by the full Senate.

The Gateway Tunnel project has been fast-tracked, ever since Governor Christie cancelled the ARC Tunnel plan a couple of years ago – because of cost overrun concerns.

Jersey U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, who serves on the THUD Subcommittee, says “the Gateway Tunnel is critical to addressing our state's transportation crisis, and I will continue working to secure federal funds to advance the project…a new trans-Hudson tunnel would dramatically increase access to commuter trains for a growing population of transit riders, and help to break the gridlock on our congested roads.”

Lautenberg also points out a new rail tunnel will create jobs, provide sustainable transportation options, and improve high-speed rail  in New Jersey and along the Northeast Corridor.

The Gateway Project is expected to increase NJ Transit commuter rail capacity into New York by 65 percent (increase from 20 to 33 trains per hour during peak hours). 

In November 2011,Congress approved an initial 15 million dollars for Amtrak to begin design and engineering work on the Gateway Tunnel project.  This additional 20 million would be used to continue working on the project.