New rail stations, tunnel to airport eyed for Philadelphia
Torn about the idea.
For starters, if they say $3 billion, it will probably be $5 billion and even more when you factor in costs 10 years from now.
Second, I would be curious to see a comparison of what else could be done for the money and the time savings. They project $3 billion to save 30 minutes. What would be the cost to do upgrades that shave only 15 minutes? Amtrak is already faster than driving from Philadelphia to NYC. How much extra time makes a difference in that stretch?
Third, I am curious why you would do the new station in Market East and not west of City Hall in the business district by Suburban Station.
Fourth, how important is Amtrak to the airport? We already do have regional rail. Can the airport handle any significant increase in volume if it turned into a larger international hub?
Fifth, 30th St. is not the outlier from Center City like it was 20 years ago and is only going to be even more significant as Penn and other developers keep ramping up development around it. Is the solution to move the Amtrak station to Center City or is the better and cheaper solution to make a much better connection between 30th St and the subway? (Currently you have to walk outside through traffic and under the street to get to it.)
On the reverse argument, I can understand the desire to dump Amtrak travelers right next to the Convention Center and the Historic District.