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Rail News: Passenger Rail

CSX willing to help spur high-speed rail on Empire Corridor, Schumer says


Earlier this week, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) met with CSX Corp. Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Ward in Washington, D.C., to discuss the Class I's involvement in bringing high-speed rail to upstate New York.

The state hopes to obtain a portion of the $8 billion included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for high-speed rail. State officials plan to provide 110 mph passenger-rail service on the 430-mile Empire Rail Corridor between Niagara Falls, Albany and New York City.

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has commissioned a study to assess the feasibility of adding a third track dedicated for passenger rail alongside existing track. Because CSX owns the right of way, the state would have to sign a lease or purchase agreement with the Class I to add the infrastructure. During the meeting with Schumer, Ward indicated "a willingness to work with the state so all parties benefit from an upgrade to high-speed rail," Schumer said in a prepared statement.

The senator also noted that priority No. 1 is to bring the rail corridor to a state of good repair, particularly by adding double track between Schenectady and Rensselaer to alleviate a bottleneck, and upgrading the Livington Avenue Bridge over the Hudson River that connects Albany and Rensselaer. Ward said he'd help advance both projects, which are included in Gov. David Paterson's New York State Rail Plan, Schumer said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/27/2009