The region will receive almost $900 million for high-speed rail projects from the funds rejected by Florida’s governor earlier this year, with the majority of funds going to the Northeast Corridor. USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood spoke at Penn Station this morning.
Projects in the region will support both high-speed and commuter rail, and include:
- $450 million for catenary wire and other improvements between New Brunswick, NJ, and Philadelphia which will create “a 24-mile segment of track capable of supporting train speeds up to 160 mph” according to USDOT, and should lead to more reliable NJ Transit service on the Northeast Corridor. Service today is frequently delayed by conditions on the Amtrak-owned line.
- $295 million for the Harold Interlocking in Queens, a congested convergence of tracks where Amtrak, LIRR, and NJ Transit trains (headed to a storage yard in Queens) merge. Clearing up the interlocking will reduce delays for both Amtrak and the LIRR.
- $58 million for improvements to New York’s Empire Corridor, including a new Schnectady station and new track to relieve a bottleneck at Albany-Rensselaer, as well as $1.4 million to study a new train station in Rochester with better connections to transit.
- $30 million for Connecticut’s New Haven-Springfield line, which brings the state even closer to its “near-term vision” to double Amtrak service, run 21 commuter trains a day, and bring service to 5 new stations. The project has garnered close to $200 million in federal funds so far.
States along the Northeast Corridor coordinated their efforts this year. For example, in prior years New York had applied almost exclusively for upstate rail improvements. This time around, most of its application focused on Northeast Corridor projects.
The Midwest and California were also big winners in the competition for $2 billion in federal funds rejected by Florida Gov. Rick Scott. For the full list of winning projects, see this USDOT press release.
Photo: Via McGraw-Hill Construction.