The State of NY wants to connect Stewart airport to NJ
Transit's Port Jervis rail line, this they hope would be the catalyst to convince people from down South in Northern NJ
and Manhattan to consider SWF
as a real alternative. The conveince of SWF
to the NY State Thruway is good, the problem is that the traffic on the Thruway around the Tappan Zee Bridge and in the Bronx can make it a 2.5 hour drive during commuting hours or during busy Summer Weekends from the City or NJ
The rail has it's difficulties to overcome also, such as.
1.) There currently is no rail connection to Stewart airport, to reach NJ
Transit's Port Jervis line the State of NY would need to build a 3 mile connecting spur from the Airport to the rail line. Building 3 miles of an entirely new right of way even in a very rural area like Newburgh is no easy project, people's property and perhaps homes would need to be take via imminent domain.
2.) After you have made the airport spur connection to Stewart airport from the NJ
Transit line it's about about a 1.5 hour train ride to NY Penn via Secaucus Jct, the Port Jervis line is not electrified nor even physically connected to Amtrak and NJ
Transit's lines the go to NY Penn Station. The Port Jervis line goes to Hoboken Terminal. So if your going from Stewart to Manhattan your choices would be to get off at Secaucus Jct and transfer onto a NJ
Transit Mid-town direct train into NY Penn or to ride to the end at Hoboken Terminal and either take a ferry or the PATH train to the World Trade Center. Travel times to NY Penn or Lower Manhattan/World Trade Center are about the same (1.5 hours).
So it would not be a one seat ride (you would need to transfer) between NYC and SWF
, however at 1.5 hours it beats driving or taking a bus.
The Port Jervis line is in Yellow on this Map, the 3 mile connection to Stewart airport would be made between the Salisbury Mills and Campbell Hall station stops.
However there is something in the works called ARC (Access to the Regions Core) which is a $6 Billion Dollar rail tunnel from New Jersey to Manhattan, it will enable NJ
Transit and Amtrak to double the amount of trains that can enter Manhattan from NJ
each hour. Once ARC is completed it will open up NY Penn to routes that currently there is no space for such as the Port Jervis line, which would thus allow a one seat ride from NY Penn to Stewart Airport (no transfer).
Transit is hoping to start construction on the new tunnels in 2009, and have it completed in 2015. Besides the new tunnels they would be another Mid-Town rail station underneath Macy's at 34th street, the Port Authority has comitted up to $2 Billion towards the $6 Billion Dollar construction costs. NY State supports the project to allow NJ
Transit trains that operate on the West Side of the Hudson in Rockland and Orange Counties NY to directly connect with Manhattan.
They are awaiting Federal funding, here's the link to the ARC project website.