Monday, March 9, 2009

New York Unveils 20-Year Rail Plan

At a press conference today held at the Albany-Rensselaer Amtrak station, New York Gov. David Paterson unveiled the Empire State's first statewide rail plan in 22 years. It calls for spending $10.7 billion over 20 years to upgrade intercity passenger and freight service, with $3 billion targeted for the so-called Third Track Initiative, which would reduce trip times and increase frequency and reliability along the Empire Corridor between Albany-Rensselaer and Buffalo.
"The Third Track Initiative aims to establish a dedicated third track for high speed passenger rail service across Upstate from Niagara Falls to Albany with a potential for reducing the travel time by 2 hours or more."
Other goals of the plan include:
  • Doubling train frequencies between New York and Albany-Rensselaer, Albany-Rensselaer and Niagara Falls and Albany-Rensselaer and Montreal.
  • Achieving on-time performance of at least 95 percent between Albany and New York City.
  • Shortening the travel time between Albany-Rensselaer and Montreal to 6 1/2 hours from eight hours.
  • Establishing new passenger service, where viable, such as between Saratoga and Albany, Niagara Falls and Buffalo, and Binghamton and New York City

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