(New York, NY)- Senator Malcolm A. Smith joined U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Senators Chuck Schumer, Frank Lautenberg and Congressman Jerrold Nadler to announce a $2 Billion award for High Speed Rail (HSR) in the Northeast Corridor (NEC). Smith, a strong advocate of HSR, serves as Co-Chair of the High Speed Rail Working Group for the National Conference of State Legislators.
"I applaud President Obama, Vice President Biden and Secretary LaHood for their steadfast commitment to HSR, which will be the transportation for the future. This 21st Century transportation initiative is the answer to a cleaner environment and job creation for our State and Country, “said Smith.
The grant will provide unprecedented investment in the NEC, with $795 million to upgrade some of the most heavily-used sections of the corridor. The investments will increase speeds from 135 to 160 miles per hour on critical segments, improve on-time performance and add more seats for passengers.
It will also provide $404.1 Million to expand high-speed rail service in the Midwest. Newly constructed segments of 110-mph track between Detroit and Chicago will save passengers 30 minutes in travel time and create nearly 1,000 new jobs in the construction phase.
Upgrades to the Chicago to St. Louis corridor will shave time off the trip, enhance safety and improve ridership. It will also boost U.S. manufacturing through a $336.2 million investment in state-of-the-art locomotives and rail cars for California and the Midwest.
Senator Smith also thanked Florida Governor Rick Scott for rejecting the $2.4 Billion in HSR dollars that was initially allocated to Florida. Ninety applications were submitted worth $10 Billion, where only $2 Billion was available, this proves HSR is alive and well in our country. In addition, Smith also thanked Governor Cuomo who for his support of HSR in NYS.
$354 Million to be spent in NY:
New York – NEC Harold Interlocking Amtrak Bypass Routes – $295 million to alleviate major delays for trains coming in and out of Manhattan with new routes that allow Amtrak trains to bypass the busiest passenger rail junction in the nation.
New York – Empire Corridor Capacity Improvements – $58 million to construct upgrades to tracks, stations and signals, improving rail operations along the Empire Corridor. This includes replacement of the Schenectady Station and construction of a fourth station track at the Albany - Rensselaer Station, one of the corridor’s most significant bottlenecks.
New York – Rochester Station and Track Improvements – $1.4 million for a preliminary engineering and environmental analysis for a new Rochester Intermodal Station on the Empire Corridor, connecting passengers with additional transit and pedestrian options.