Monumental Event Held Once Every 3 Years
(Beijing, China)- Senate President Malcolm A. Smith made history today along with several world leaders when he delivered a keynote address in China at the 7th World Congress on High Speed Rail (HSR) on the progress of HSR in the United States and New York State. With over 2,600 attendees, this is the world's largest conference on high speed rail, organized by the International Union of Railways (UIC) headquartered in Paris. This is the first time the UIC has convened these world leaders outside of Europe.
“HSR is a leading transformative initiative that will yield a much-needed economic stimulus, ease environmental pollutants, and connect the country in the same way our interstate highway system did in the 1950’s because of President Eisenhower's forward thinking” stated Senator Smith.
“This conference will lead to the establishment of greater cooperative relationships between China and world leaders,” noted Senator Smith as he concluded a private meeting with the Minister of the Ministry of Railways for China, Mr. Liu Zhijun.
Senator Smith was present for the signing of an agreement between GE and China’s Ministry of Railways to advance partnerships that would allow the company to pursue high-speed rail projects in the U.S. with manufacturing provided by a Chinese partner. GE, located in Schenectady, also formed a joint venture with CSR Qishuyan to develop, build and service the Evolution Series, GE’s line of diesel locomotive engines, which will be marketed in China and eventually other countries as well, creating jobs in Upstate New York.
Like many great infrastructure projects, the positive impacts of HSR fall into two categories: economic development and environmental and land use impacts. Rail can connect labor pools and population centers, and bolster economic competitiveness and preparedness. HSR is expected to create 247,000 anticipated jobs.
Using rail as a transit-oriented development tool can connect regions, reviving communities and creating opportunities for urban development and investment. For example, more than 15 million of New York State’s residents live within 30 miles of the train system. The possibilities for rail commuters is endless.
Senator Smith was the first African American to ever address the 7th World Congress in China. He was also the only American to deliver a keynote address to the distinguished body of world leaders for High Speed Rail. A link to Senator Smith’s keynote speech can be found here: http://www.nysenate.gov/press-release/remarks-world-congress-high-speed-rail.