Amtrak seeks help with consultant HNTB, considers private operator to help run Penn Station

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By Andy Milone

HNTB — an infrastructure solutions firm — is helping to speed up the process at Penn Station, but NJ Governor Chris Christie and NY Governor Andrew Cuomo shared a similar opinion in May regarding a long term solution — the identification of a private operator to run Penn Station, the nation’s busiest rail station and transportation facility.

According to a source, no private company was ever brought in or discussed further.

The current focus is the short-term.

“In the short term, we need these repairs made and made as quickly as possible by Amtrak,” said Christie back in May.

A build-up of derailments is behind the reasoning for this much needed long term change. The 1970s saw Penn Station having significantly less trains and customers than the present weekday, which is the reasoning behind the need for a private operator.

Christie is trying to make the most of a bad situation with Amtrak. Much needed infrastructure renewal and repairs began this summer at New York Penn Station, but it’s clear that Christie is still skeptical regarding the ability, reliability, and honesty of Amtrak and their responsibility to make transportation as efficient and safe as possible.

Another railroad project made headlines this month.

The House DOT appropriations bill passed in US Congress, and this bill provides $900 million in federal funding for the Gateway project, a phased expansion and renovation of the Northeast Corridor (NEC) rail line between Newark, New Jersey, and New York City, New York. Christie released a statement on July 11 labeling the bill as “a triumph for [the] region.”

Further details on HNTB’s role will continue to be updated 

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