Monday, March 02, 2009

New York Empire Corridor bottleneck gets belated backing

Written by  Luther S. Miller, Senior Consulting Editor

After years of postponements and delay, the 18-mile single-track rail route between Albany and Schenectady, N.Y., may finally be double-tracked in 2009, if the expected approval by the Capital District Regional Planning Committee later this month is backed by funding.

New York’s Department of Transportation would provide $60 million for the projected $70 million project, which could fill the gap using federal stimulus money. Numerous previous efforts by NYDOT and Amtrak, the segment’s primary user, to double-track the stretch for passenger rail purposes have stalled.

"The project for installing a second main railroad track between Albany and Schenectady was previously on the Transportation Improvement Program as part of the Amtrak, DOT Rail Initiative. It was subsequently removed from the TIP. It is being brought back now and funded with discretionary Railroad Stimulus funds," according to the Regional Planning Committee's agenda item.