Yesterday Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, the senators from New Jersey, teamed up with Amtrak to announce their vision of a new tunnel from Jersey to the city to replace the late trans-Hudson ARC project and what do you know—even though the new project will take longer to complete, cost more, and offer less service than the scraped project—New Jersey Governor Chris Christie seems to like it. But what about that 7 extension to Jersey?

And why does Christie like this $13.5 billion "Gateway" plan to build a tunnel to Penn Station that won't be done until 2020? He won't be on hook for the bill. "I’ve said all along that I think we need a second tunnel under the Hudson River," the Governor said. He just didn't want to pay the cost overruns, which in this plan would be in federal hands. Amtrak is hoping to get Obama funds even going to front the $50 million required to study the project (as opposed to the quarter-million NYC just spent on studying the 7 extension). Christie is also apparently happy that the new tunnel would go directly to Penn Station, instead of stopping under Macy's.

Of course, that doesn't mean the new plan doesn't have some downsides. By moving the tracks to Penn Station there is less room for the trains to park. 24 trains would have travelled back and forth during rush hour in the old plan while in the new one that number is reduced to 13.

The biggest question though remains how exactly this will all get paid for. The senators from New Jersey suggest using funds from Amtrak, New Jersey, New York State, New York City, the Port Authority, the MTA and private investors but considering the financial states of all of the above (Amtrak is a perennial money loser) we have our doubts.

One plus of the plan? In order to get all of those trains into Penn Station the station itself would have to be expanded. Which means that maybe Moynihan Station will really, finally, become a reality? Still, this being a massive project, expect to hear a lot more about this before anything actually, y'know, happens.