WESTFIELD - The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition held its first meeting of the year in Westfield where it discussed plans for the new Trans-Hudson Gateway rail tunnel project.

On Feb. 7, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg announced that Amtrak is proposing to spend $50 million to begin preliminary engineering and design on two new rail tunnels from New Jersey to New York City's Penn Station.

A senior staff member to Sen. Lautenberg was on hand to answer questions from the public.

The proposed tunnels will increase commuter train capacity by allowing NJ Transit to add an additional 13 trains per peak hour into New York City.

It also will increase the number of Amtrak trains into New York City by eight per hour.