The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in the US has broken ground on the Metro-North Penn Station Access project.

Amtrak is offering $500m for the project, which is expected to entail a total investment of $3.18bn.

Claimed to be the largest expansion of Metro-North Railroad, the project will enable rail service to and from Manhattan, Westchester, and Connecticut.

Serving as a key second route to Manhattan, the expansion project will include four new stations in the Bronx.

These stations will be constructed in Hunts Point, Parkchester/Van Nest, Morris Park, and Co-Op City, and can be accessed by all as per the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Amtrak’s Hell Gate Line will be used under the expansion to access Penn Station.

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Metro-North trains halting at the four new Bronx stations will help extend the New Haven Line from the New Rochelle Station. It will provide transit options in the East Bronx to Midtown Manhattan besides points in Westchester, Connecticut and inversely.

With more than 19 miles of new and rehabilitated track work, the project will turn the existing two-track railroad into a four-track road.

Furthermore, the project will cover rehabilitation work to repair and strengthen four bridges, including the Bronx River Bridge, Eastchester Road Bridge, Bronxdale Avenue Bridge and Pelham Lane Bridge, to accommodate additional train traffic.

In a statement, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said: “In partnership with Senator Schumer, Representatives Torres, Ocasio-Cortez, and Bowman, and Amtrak, Penn Station Access will not only drastically reduce commute times, but it will also help connect hundreds of thousands of residents and boost local economies.

“I’m thankful for MTA’s partnership to get this project off the ground, and I look forward to seeing the completed project to help ensure all New Yorkers have access to the modern public transportation that they deserve.”