New York gets funds for mid-speed rail service


The Daily Mail and other publications are running the press release from New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand‘s office touting $151 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to build new high-speed rail lines across New York. In reality, the funds, from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will slightly upgrade current Amtrak service, rather than create the sort of high-speed rail lines now being built and used in China, Japan, and Europe. The Hudson Valley will only see a portion of $147 million for “Empire Corridor South – Grade Crossing Improvements – CSXT Milepost 75 to 143: Improvements to existing warning devices at 12 grade crossings.” The Albany Times-Union, in an editorial today, said, “That should go a long way toward improvements such as eliminating the bottleneck between Albany and Schenectady responsible for so many delays in Amtrak’s service across upstate. Another $3 million will go toward improving rail service through the Adirondacks and into Vermont and Quebec. The money is just enough, in other words, to get New Yorkers thinking about the level of rail service that’s so common in other industrialized countries.”

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