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MTA officials say there is now a deal with Amtrak to move forward on four Bronx stations for Metro-North
The expansion would also bring the first-ever Metro-North service to New York Penn Station
Despite decades of discussions, the plan to expand Metro-North approved by the MTA about four years ago has been slow to get off the ground
MTA officials say there is now a deal with Amtrak to move forward on four Bronx stations for Metro-North, with the first ever Metro-North service to New York Penn Station.
The plan calls for new Metro-North stops in Co-op City, Morris Park, Parkchester/ Van Nest and Hunts Point and bring those commuters, plus those from New Rochelle, to New York Penn Station.
Amtrak confirmed the deal in a statement.
"We are pleased to have reached a preliminary agreement that will allow for MTA to advance for design and construction of improvements on Amtrak's Hell Gate Line, for the eventual operation of new Metro-North commuter rail service into New York Penn Station and construction of four new stations along the line," Amtrak Senior Executive Vice President Stephen Gardner said.
He also said Amtrak and the MTA would begin working to advance "direct Amtrak intercity passenger rail service" to Long Island via the LIRR "in the future." As for the Metro-North expansion, Gardner said the agreement is subject to approval by each agency's Board of Directors before the end of the month.
Assuming there are no major snags, service to and from the new Bronx stations could begin in late 2022.
Despite decades of discussions, a $750 million plan to expand Metro-North approved by the MTA roughly four years ago has been slow to get off the ground.
Addressing the matter last month, Amtrak said the delay in going forward with the new stations had to do with the railroad needing to "ensure that the proposed expansion of Metro-North service does not adversely impact Amtrak intercity passenger rail operation, which will see a significant expansion in 2021 with the introduction of expanded Acela service."