Amtrak would raze entire Midtown block for new “Penn South,” rail tunnel

February 18, 2011 01:37PM

A proposed $13.5 billion Amtrak tunnel that would link New Jersey commuter trains to a new, expanded Penn Station would involve razing the entire Midtown block between 30th and 31st streets, and Seventh and Eighth avenues, DNAinfo reported. According to plans released by New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg (see them below), the so-called Gateway Project calls for building a new “Penn South” station in place of the existing buildings in its footprint, currently home to restaurants, businesses and churches that were taken by surprise upon hearing of their potential demolition. The Amtrak project was proposed after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie axed the Access to the Region’s Core rail tunnel plan last year. “The preferred scenario will be to raze the existing buildings, excavate the block, build the new train station, construct a deck over it and then build new commercial overbuild on top,” said Cliff Cole, a spokesperson for Amtrak. Among the victims would be the club Rebel, pubs Harrington’s and the Blarney Stone and the Roman Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist. [DNAinfo]