U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) applauded today's announcement by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that $450 million originally allocated to the state of Florida would be used for Amtrak high-speed railway improvements in New Jersey. Today's announcement comes as part of $2 Billion being reallocated nationwide by U.S. Department of Transportation.
Florida officials rejected the funds that had been originally slated for a high-speed intercity passenger rail program. On March 4, Rep. Pascrell, a former member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, joined regional colleagues with a letter urging Secretary LaHood to use the funding to increase the speed and efficiency of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor (NEC) in New Jersey.
Today, it was announced that $450 million would be used to improve the railway's infrastructure between New Brunswick and Trenton, allowing for train speeds to be increased from 130 m.p.h. to 160 m.p.h. through improvements to NEC power, signal, track, and catenary systems.
"The work announced today is a significant upgrade, and is the kind of investment New Jersey needs the most with a stronger, faster, and more consistent Northeast Corridor," said Pascrell, a former member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
"Improving our railways will help create local jobs today, reduce congestion, and help foster our prosperity for generations to come. Despite all of the advances in communication, nothing has surpassed the quality of face-to-face interaction when it comes to getting down to business. High speed rail brings more people together faster -- sometimes, even while they are travelling -- helping everyone maximize their commercial potential. I want to thank Secretary LaHood and the Department of Transportation for their support of New Jersey."