|Slaughter Calls Federal High-Speed Rail Funds a “Victory for New York”|
|January 28, 2010|
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-28) praised the decision from President Obama to award New York State $151 million to help build high-speed rail across Upstate New York.
“This announcement in high-speed rail funding is a victory for New York,” said Slaughter. “High-speed rail will bring 12,000 new jobs to our state. It will connect Upstate to New York to Cleveland and Chicago to the west, to Toronto and Montreal to the north and make travel across the state much easier. That connection will strengthen the economies of all of our cities and the entire region. In short this is good for New York’s businesses, our workers, our universities, our partners in trade and it’s good for the environment.”
Background on Slaughter’s Role in Bringing High Speed Rail to New York
Slaughter has been New York’s champion on high-speed rail. Last January, she founded the Upstate Congressional Caucus bringing together her colleagues from across upstate to advocate with one voice to bring the federal funds needed to construct a third track dedicated to passenger high-speed rail. Over the course of the last year, Slaughter has led meetings with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Congressional leaders, NY City & State officials, Governor Paterson’s office, the N.Y. Department of Transportation, the Federal Railroad Administration, Amtrak, and CSX.
Last week Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told the U.S. Conference of Mayors, that when it comes to high-speed rail “there is no bigger advocate than Louise Slaughter…she is on this.”
The announcement of $151 will go to projects across Upstate New York.
“In addition to the $4.6 million we have already secured, the $151 million for New York will lay the groundwork to put shovels in the ground and make the necessary upgrades to our tracks, stations and crossings,” said Slaughter. “Every bit of federal money helps make the third track for passenger rail one step closer to a reality. I’m delighted.”
New York ranks 8th out of the 31 states that were awarded money today. The Federal Rail Administration reported receiving 278 pre-applications for grant funding totaling $102 billion. Subsequently, the FRA received 45 final applications from 24 states requesting $50 billion to advance high-speed rail corridor programs. They also received 214 final applications from 34 states totaling $7 billion for corridor planning and smaller projects.
Slaughter, along with other members of the Upstate Congressional Caucus, secured $4.595 million from this year’s Consolidated Appropriations Act that will improve grade crossings and facilitate high-speed rail in Monroe, Genesee, Montgomery, Oneida and Wayne counties. The Administration has also pledged future support to high-speed rail programs.
In August, New York State applied for $564.8 million in stimulus funds for shovel-ready projects to improve existing track and build a third track dedicated to a high-speed passenger rail line across Upstate New York.
In October, New York applied for a second round of funding that would also come from the stimulus package. It totaled $4.7 billion.
More to Come
The announcement of $151 million is one more award from the federal government that will make high-speed rail possible.
The FY2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act included $2.4 billion to provide grants to states for high-speed passenger rail to create a 21st Century system that reduces congestion and environmental impacts. Slaughter will again be working with the Upstate Caucus to secure more of for New York in the coming year.
“The Obama administration has made a commitment to invest in the infrastructure of tomorrow with a goal of making high-speed rail as his transportation legacy. I’m committed to securing additional federal money to make our vision a reality,” said Slaughter. “Specifically next year’s Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill and the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act."
For More Information
Visit the high-speed rail page for more on high-speed rail across New York and find: