Yesterday the Republican governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, ordered a halt to the most important passenger rail project in the United States. That’s bad, and it gets worse. This is not an isolated local decision. This is part of a nationwide war on trains, of which Christie is the leader.
The project that Christie killed yesterday is a second rail tunnel under the Hudson River. It would add capacity to the badly overcrowded and economically vital Northeast Corridor. I ride this route often and I’m surely not the only one tired of sitting in Secaucus going nowhere while we wait for a train ahead to clear the only existing tunnel—built in 1910. Construction began on the new tunnel earlier this year, with funding by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Port Authority, and the state of New Jersey. Yet Christie determined he had the power to shut it down. “The ARC project will be terminated and staff will immediately begin an expeditious and orderly shutdown of the project,” the governor declared.
What else has the governor been up to?