High-Speed Rail

Bringing high-speed rail to Upstate New York is one of Congresswoman Slaughter’s highest priorities. The improvement of existing tracks and the creation of a third track dedicated to passenger rail will allow people to move efficiently back and forth across the upstate region, improve commerce, generate new tourism opportunities and spark revitalization in our region for years to come. Below is a list of some of the efforts and leadership the Congresswoman has exemplified to bring High Speed rail to New York:

Bipartisan Upstate New York Congressional Caucus

In January 2009, Congresswoman Slaughter formed the Bipartisan Upstate New York Congressional Caucus which was promptly joined by all the members of Congress representing Upstate. The purpose of the Caucus is to address issues facing Upstate New York and collectively work to revive the regional economy and create good-paying jobs. The Caucus’ number one priority is bringing high-speed rail to Upstate New York.

Grade Crossing Projects in the FY 10 Consolidated Appropriations Act Funding

The Bipartisan Upstate New York Caucus supported grade crossing projects along the Empire Corridor resulting in awards totaling $4.595 in the FY 10 Consolidated Appropriations Act. Work will include reconfiguration to enhance safety, including improvements such as upgrades to existing warning devices and the installation of channelization devices. Congressman Tonko, Arcuri, Maffei and Lee were awarded projects and Congresswoman Slaughter received $1.245 million.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Funding

New York State received $151 million, which ranked 8th out of the 31 states receiving money. FRA received 45 final applications from 24 states requesting $50 billion to advance high-speed rail corridor programs and 214 final applications from 34 states requesting $7 billion for corridor planning and smaller projects.

New York was awarded $147 million for the following five projects:

· The installation of 10 miles of second track, interlocking reconfigurations and grade crossing warning device systems to eliminate an existing bottleneck and improve safety. (Tonko)

· The preliminary engineering and environmental analysis for 11 miles of third track which will allow for high-speed passenger rail (Maffei, Slaughter & Massa)

· The Buffalo-Depew Station to upgrade its facilities. (Higgins)

· The construction and repair of the Rochester Station. (Slaughter)

· Improvements to existing warning devices at 12 crossings. (Murphy & Tonko)

$3 million was awarded for the final design and construction of 2.27 miles of third track mainline track used by Amtrak’s state-supported Adirondack (Mew York-Montreal) and Ethan Allen Express (New York-Rutland, VT) services, which will improve the reliability and on-time performance of these services. (Murphy)

$1 million was allocated to prepare a service development plan, an environmental plan and environmental studies for high-speed rail enhancements throughout the Empire Corridor. (NY)

Letter to FY 10 Consolidated Appropriations Act Conferees

In September 2009, Congresswoman Slaughter led a letter with nine of her colleagues to the Chair and Ranking Members of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development strongly urging them to maintain the House mark of $4 billion for high-speed and intercity passenger rails as they begin conference negotiations. As a result of the Congresswoman’s leadership, the FY 10 Consolidated Appropriations Act included $2.5 billion to provide grants to states for high-speed passenger rail. The FRA will distribute this money through competitive grants in October 2010.

Rochester Intermodal Station Background

Rochester’s current Amtrak station, built on Central Avenue in 1978, was intended to be a temporary facility. It lacks adequate ADA accessibility and is not constructed to support high-speed rail. Congresswoman Slaughter is working closely with the FRA, City of Rochester, NY Governor’s office, NYSDOT, and Amtrak to build a new intermodal station that will house Amtrak, Greyhound and Trailways buses, and provide connectivity to RTS city buses, taxi and other modes of transportation.

Rochester Intermodal Station Funding

Congresswoman Slaughter is working to secure funding for the planning and design of the station, and its eventual construction. The Congresswoman has secured $4,040,555 through ARRA and the FY 11 THUD appropriations bills. An overview of these funding sources is below.

H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) ($1,540,555)

NYSDOT was awarded $1,540,555 in H.R. 1 for the planning and design of the new intermodal station. The money is scheduled to be obligated by the FRA this fall, and this will allow the City of Rochester to take the first steps in planning and designing the new station.

H.R. 5850, the FY 11 Transportation & HUD Appropriations Act ($2.5 million Federal; $3.125 million Total)

NYSDOT was awarded $2.5 million in H.R. 5850, the FY 11 Transportation & HUD Appropriations Act. The money will be used to complete final building and site design for the intermodal station. The City of Rochester is committed to providing a minimum of 10 percent ($312,500) cash match and NY State is also committed to providing a minimum of 10 percent ($312,500) cash match to this FY 11 appropriations request.

Rochester Intermodal Station Planning & Design Project Budget

Total Project Federal Funds

Phase Cost ($) ($) ARRA/TIGER II

Scoping $700,000 $700,000

Preliminary Engineering $2,000,000 $1,768,000

Detailed Design $1,300,000 $1,040,000

Total $4,000,000 $3,508,000

H.R. 5850, the FY 11 Transportation & HUD Appropriations Act

Congresswoman Slaughter led a letter with 27 of her colleagues to Chairman Obey and Olver expressing support for $4 billion for high-speed and intercity passenger rails.

Northeast Rail Caucus

Congresswoman Slaughter is a founding member of the Northeast Rail Caucus along with Congressman Larson and Olver. The Northeast is the nation’s most densely populated region and is unusually dependent upon truck traffic for moving goods and freight. As population density continues to increase, congestion threatens the efficiency of our transportation system and by extension, our commercial competitiveness. A diverse regional transportation network is required to ensure the seamless flow of people and commerce among the Northeast states and then within the global economy.

In order to support the improvement and expansion of passenger and freight rail in the Northeast, the Congresswoman formed the Northeast Rail Caucus to provide a voice at the Federal level that can work with the states to ensure that regional coordination continues and that the region is well positioned to take advantage of federal funding opportunities.

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