June 1, 2021

Rail Supporters Want State to Push Ahead on Improvement Plans

"Rail supporters want state to push ahead on improvement plans. One major plan hasn't been updated since 2009"

BY Rick Karlin, May 31, 2021 in the Albany Times Union

The Biden Administration’s call for $80 billion in rail spending has supporters of passenger and freight train services optimistic about the chances for improvements to their tracks and other infrastructure needed to keep the trains running on time. But in New York, some worry that the Empire State may be at a disadvantage since, federal documents suggest the state is lagging in its planning and wish list for federally funded improvements. The Federal Railway Administration in 2008 started requiring states every four years to submit State Rail Plans outlining their long-term visions for improvements. The requirement to file a new plan every four years was later dropped, but New York’s plan nonetheless hasn’t been updated since 2009 – when David Paterson was governor.

— Albany Times Union

2009 New York State Rail Plan - NYSDOT

The 2009 New York State Rail Plan articulates the State’s vision, goals, and objectives for New York’s intercity passenger and freight rail systems. The plan, New York’s first in over 22 years, will serve as a blueprint to guide New York State’s rail transportation investment strategies.

The plan, entitled NEW YORK STATE RAIL PLAN 2009 - Strategies for a New Age, was developed in cooperation with New York’s freight railroads, Amtrak, commuter railroads, transportation planners, and New York residents. The State Rail Plan was prepared based on extensive public comments, including four public information workshops, regarding a draft State Rail Plan report released in June 2008.

The 2009 New York State Rail Plan was developed to meet and exceed the rail planning provisions of the federal Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, Public Law 110-432. The plan has been submitted to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration for review.

High Speed Rail Empire Corridor Public Outreach Video — April 2014

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and the Federal Railroad Administration have released the High Speed Rail Empire Corridor Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), a detailed environmental analysis of improvements to passenger rail service along the Empire Corridor to make connections between cities faster, more frequent, and more reliable. The 463-mile Empire Corridor runs north and south between Albany and New York City, and east and west between Albany and Niagara Falls.