Today Representative Dan Maffei, Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Louise Slaughter announced more than $18 million in federal funding for rail construction and signal upgrades in the Syracuse area and Onondaga County. The Upstate Caucus in the House, under the leadership of Representative Slaughter, has worked closely with Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to secure millions to upgrade the Empire Corridor rail line and bring high speed rail to New York State. Today's announcement for the Syracuse area is the latest in a series of rounds of funding in Representative Maffei's district and across the state for high speed rail.
Representative Maffei said: "Like the Erie Canal, high speed rail is going to change the economic landscape of Upstate New York. We know with projects of this magnitude do not happen overnight, but with dedicated leadership and vision, we are going to make high speed rail a reality. I am thrilled that the USDOT, working with the NYSDOT, sees the value in investing in the Empire Corridor. I am proud to announce $18 million for construction and upgrades in the Syracuse area."
Senator Schumer said: "High Speed rail will allow communities all across New York to create jobs in the short and long term by attracting new businesses that will locate in areas with reliable and efficient transportation. Upgrading the Syracuse platform and improving the DeWitt yard will make sure Syracuse is a leader in high speed rail for years to come."
Senator Gillibrand said: "High speed rail is one of my top priorities for New York. This investment will help connect more New York businesses and workers, help create jobs and rebuild our economy. I will keep working to make sure New York gets all the federal investments in high speed rail we need."
Representative Slaughter, who supported the grant requests along with all the members of the Upstate New York Congressional Caucus which she formed, said: "Anyone who says New York isn't competitive with other states, is mistaken. While 18 states applied for funding, New York received approximately 12 percent of the available funds, for this project, the bridge improvement project in Albany and the signal improvement project along the Hudson line. The $18 million coming to Syracuse lays the necessary groundwork for high-speed rail in Upstate New York and will strengthen the link between Syracuse and the cities to the east and west."
Today's announcement of $18 million is the latest round of funding for high speed rail along the Empire Corridor. This round of funding came from a Federal Rail Administration grant that will be formally announced on Thursday by USDOT. Two other grants for Empire Corridor projects will also receive funding from this round of FRA grants, bringing the total amount in this round of funding to $28 million for high speed rail in New York State. Previously the USDOT announced $151 million for statewide planning, construction to the Rochester train station and improvements to the bottleneck at the track in Schenectady area.