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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Senate passes $50.7 billion Hurricane Sandy relief bill; PATH and NJ Transit continue to restore services

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed a $50.7 billion disaster aid package for the states of New York and New Jersey, and other areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The House already passed the bill, so the legislation now will be sent to President Barack Obama for his signature.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy released a joint statement to thank lawmakers for acting on the relief measure.

"The Senate membership clearly recognized early on the urgency and necessity of approving the full aid package and its importance in rebuilding our battered infrastructure and getting our millions of affected residents back on their feet as quickly as possible," the governors said.

Meanwhile, the region's transit agencies continue to repair infrastructure and restore services. Last night, the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) restored overnight service on the Newark-to-World Trade Center Line. The agency continues to restore service after the widespread damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Until last night, the Newark-WTC PATH line had been operating only during weekdays since service resumed on the line following the October storm, said Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) officials in a prepared statement.

Return of the Newark-WTC PATH line overnight on weekdays, in addition to the ongoing overnight service from Journal Square to 33rd Street via Hoboken, means PATH's overnight schedule during the week has returned to pre-Sandy status, they said.

The Exchange Place and World Trade Center stations will remain closed on weekends through February to enable work crews uninterrupted time to complete necessary repairs. Crews continue to work around the close to return weekday Hoboken to World Trade Center service, and weekend service between Newark and the World Trade Center. Those are the system's final service segments yet to be restored.

In another sign of Sandy recovery, New Jersey Transit today reopened the Hoboken Terminal waiting room to provide a heated shelter and temporary seating for riders. The agency continues remediation work to address flood damage from the storm.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/29/2013