In an editorial published on Thursday, January 4th, the New York Daily News called for new tunnels to Penn Station, but without some of the features of the full Gateway proposal.  The paper's position is similar to the one that the Lackawanna Coalition has been advocating.  

The editorial began: "Albeit on wrong-headed political grounds, the Trump Administration has thrown deserved cold water on Amtrak's exorbitant Hudson River rail tunnel project called Gateway."  The editorial was published six days after K. Jane Williams, Deputy Administrator at the Federal Transit Administration, told New York and New Jersey officials that the Feds would not fund $11.3 billion toward the tunnel project and said that the Obama Administration had reached "no agreement" to do so.

The editorial called for a new tunnel, saying: "The region badly needs a new train tunnel in order to repair those damaged by Superstorm Sandy and increase commuter capacity between New Jersey and New York" and went on to criticize the Trump Administration, but added: "what's needed is a change in scope and scale."  The paper criticized the proposal for a separate "Penn South" station and the need to demolish a city block to clear the land to build it.

Instead, the editorial called for optimizing Penn Station, which includes lengthening platforms and bringing them into the Moynihan Station, which is currently under construction in the Post Office Building across 8th Avenue from the existing Penn Station.  It also called for "a tube" costing $11 billion, rather than the entire Gateway project, with an estimated cost of $30 billion.  It is not clear whether that "tube" would contain one or two new tracks.  In addition, the editorial called for a four-track "mid-height" bridge.  The current Portal Bridge sits 23 feet above mean-high water, while plans call for two two-track bridges sitting 55 above the water.

The editorial concluded: "Get the essential parts done without waste.  God knows even sane infrastructure plans cost way too much in this city."

The proposal from the Daily News is similar to the Lackawanna Coalition's suggestion, which comprises two new tunnels into the existing Penn Station, improvements that would allow NJ Transit trains and riders to use the West End Concourse and the Moynihan Station when it is completed, and either one new bridge that would carry all trains into Penn Station, or a single new two-track bridge and rehabilitating the existing Portal Bridge for peak-hours and during outages on other tracks.  The Coalition has called for "Penn South" not to be built, citing excessive cost and the inconvenience to riders, who would be dropped an additional block from their offices and from the subways that take them to their offices.  We stated our position in the November-December, 2017 issue of our newsletter, the Railgram.  We summarized it as "Build What We Need and Don't Build What We Don't Need."

The Coalition welcomes this development.  Our constituents do not need "Penn South" or the proposed "Secaucus South" station.  The do need "another tube" into Penn Station, and they need more capacity at Penn Station, including the beneficial use of the Moynihan Station now under construction.