Todd's Railfan Guide to

In General
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In General

The existing tunnels Amtrak uses to gain entrance into New York City under the Hudson River, coming in from New Jersey from the south, are 105 years old.  Being this old, the tunnels are in need of extensive repairs which can not be done without major service interruptions. 

The projected cost is 16 billion dollars.

Current train capacity is 24 trains per hour (most articles I read state JUST 24 trains per hour, while one stated 24 per hour per tube).  Amtrak estimates that closing one of the tubes would seriously cripple throughput at six trains an hour.

So the logical solution is to build a new set of tunnels, which would serve two purposes:

1) Amtrak could then close one of the existing tunnels (at a time) for repair, without seriously affecting current schedules, and

2) It would allow for expansion of service by both New Jersey Transit and Amtrak.

So far, as of August 2015, New Jersey seems to be supportive of the project, for obvious reasons, and New York does not.  Governor Cuomo says he does not see any advantage to support or otherwise help fund the project, I believe one of his objections is that Amtrak would "own" the new tunnels, and not NY.  Other projects he has committed money to include an upgrade to LaGuardia Airport (cause the airlines are contributing half), and the building of a new Tappan Zee bridge (which NY will own outright and derive direct funds from - see below).  The Gov should think twice about the impact closing off one of the existing tunnels will have on New York City - for it would be an immense burden on the alternate modes of transportation.  This is kind of a switch, for Republicans are generally not for transit projects, while democrats are!

Websites and other additional information sources of interest:




Newspaper Articles







I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.  This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.  My webpages are an attempt at putting everything I can find of the subject in one convenient place.  There are plenty of other good websites to help me in this effort, and they are listed in the links section on my indexa page, or as needed on individual pages.  Please do not write to me about something that may be incorrect, and then hound the heck out of me if I do not respond to you in the manner you would like.  I operate on the "Golden Rule Principle", and if you are not familiar with it, please acquaint yourself with how to treat people by reading Mathew 7:12 (among others, the principle exists in almost every religion).  If you contact me (like some do, hi Paul) and try to make it a "non-fun" thing and start with the name calling, your name will go into my spambox list! :-)

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in, especially if restaurants or gas stations open, close, or change names.  Most of my maps are a result of personal observation after visiting these locations.  I have always felt that a picture is worth a thousand words", and I feel annotated maps such as the ones I work up do the same justice for the railfan over a simple text description of the area.  Since the main focus of my website is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  Since most of us railheads don't have just trains as a hobby, I have also tried to point out where other interesting sites of the area are.... things like fire stations, neat bridges, or other significant historical or geographical feature.  While some may feel they shouldn't be included, these other things tend to make MY trips a lot more interesting.... stuff like where the C&O Canal has a bridge going over a river (the Monocacy Aqueduct) between Point of Rocks and Gaithersburg MD, it's way cool to realize this bridge to support a water "road" over a river was built in the 1830's!!!  

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given! BE NICE!!! Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.


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NEW 08/16/2015
Last Modified 16-Aug-2015