EXPRESSIONS of Interest have been called for design teams to undertake engineering services on the proposed Trans-Hudson Express tunnel.

New Jersey Transit hopes to have preliminary engineering completed during 2007, with the aim of having the link ready for revenue service in 2015. The winning bidder may also be invited to undertake further design and construction management work as the project progresses.

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement was issued to interested parties in January. The centrepiece of the plan is a pair of single-track tunnels beneath the Hudson River, south of the existing Amtrak tubes. These would lead to both New York's Penn Station and a new eight-platform terminal at 34th Street & 7th Avenue, providing interchange to nearby subway and commuter rail routes.

Together with four-tracking of the existing Northeast Corridor between Secaucus Transfer and the portals, this would double passenger rail capacity between New Jersey and central Manhattan. Related works include connections from NJ Transit's Main/Bergen and Passaic Valley lines to the Northeast Corridor at Secaucus, and a new 25-train stabling yard in Kearney.