North Atlantic Rail concept features NYC-Boston tunnel link
Pennsylvania – A $105 billion plan to connect seven New England states and downstate New York by high-speed rail is gaining traction.
Developed at the University of Pennsylvania, the high-speed North Atlantic Rail would transport passengers at speeds more than 200 mph and reduce the travel time between New York City and Boston to 100 minutes via a 16-mile tunnel under Long Island Sound.
This federal-state partnership would be created to fund and implement the program, leveraging new procurement methods and public-private partnership (P3) ventures to accelerate investments.
The 20-year project’s early efforts would focus on the top-priority projects of each state along the line to improve and build upon existing infrastructure.
Priority investments into the new system would be:
- New York – New high-speed rail line from Ronkonkoma to Penn Station. New Haven Line modernization from Port Chester and New Rochelle to Penn Station and Grand Central.
- Massachusetts – East-West Rail Line from Boston-Worcester-Springfield, and potential extension to Pittsfield. Transformation of Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) Commuter Rail into a regional rail network with extensions to Fall River and New Bedford and electrification of Fairmount, Lynn, and Providence service. Construction of North-South Rail Link.
- Connecticut – New Haven and Hartford Line modernization by adding double track and electrification of Waterbury and Danbury branch lines and upgrading the Hartford – Springfield line.
- New Hampshire – New commuter rail link from Manchester and Nashua to Boston.
- Vermont – Modernization and extension of Valley Flyer service from Greenfield to White River Junction and beyond. New passenger rail link between Burlington and Montreal.
- Maine – Modernization of Downeaster Service to Portland and Brunswick and extension to Lewiston-Auburn and possibly to Bangor.
As proposed, the concept would represent 5 percent of a $2 trillion infrastructure program, and would benefit a region that contains 11 percent of the nation’s population, 14 percent of its economy and an even larger share of its tax base, and more than 66 percent of U.S. rail ridership.