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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will provide $30.2 million to Amtrak to repair damage caused by Hurricane Sandy along the heavily-traveled Northeast Corridor (NEC), U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced on Friday.Funded by the federal Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, the grant will reimburse Amtrak for $20.1 million spent to pump water from tunnels and remove debris, as well as to complete ongoing infrastructure repairs to continue operating more than 2,000 trains along the NEC each day.The balance of the grant will cover repairs to the East Tunnel that connects Manhattan and Queens, the North River Tunnel that connects New Jersey and New York City, and other facilities."Amtrak serves as a critical transportation link throughout the Northeast Corridor, and we are committed to helping it rebuild from Hurricane Sandy on behalf of thousands of riders who rely on it each day," said LaHood in a prepared statement.After Sandy struck, four of the six tunnels between New York City and New Jersey flooded with seawater. Water and debris were removed from the tunnels and systemwide repairs were completed before service could be restored. The most critical damage was inflicted on electrical systems, particularly the Kearney substation in New Jersey, while signals, lighting, mechanical rooms and emergency call boxes also sustained damage."The storm's wake demonstrates the necessity to not only rebuild, but to invest in our infrastructure so we are better prepared to withstand and recover from future natural disasters," said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo.
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