Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New York Looks to Eliminate Amtrak Bottleneck

New York State transportation officials have brought a $60 million project to eliminate a bottleneck on Amtrak's Empire Corridor back to the front burner, the Albany Times Union reports. The move doesn't necessarily mean the project will get done, especially in light of the state's bleak fiscal outlook, but it makes it eligible for funding through the economic stimulus plan expected to be signed into law next week by President Obama.

The bottleneck is an 18-mile stretch of single track line between Albany-Rennselaer and Schenectady, where eastbound Amtrak trains often are forced to wait as much as 20 minutes to allow westbound passenger and freight traffic to pass. According to Robert Hansen, DOT regional planning and program manager, the project not only would improve reliability and make the service more attractive but also reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

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