Gov. David Paterson recently announced a new $10.7 billion state rail improvement plan that calls for improving service between New York City and Niagara Falls and increasing freight rail usage by 25 percent.  Under the proposed plan,  the speed of intercity passenger rail service from Albany to Niagara Falls would be increased to 110 mph, by adding a third track to the existing rail corridor.  Previous studies have estimated that new tracks allowing speeds of up to 110 mph could bring the trip time under four hours a significant improvement over the more than 5 and a half hours the trip currently takes.

New York, like most states, is facing huge deficits.   So, while Governor Patterson has said that the state will compete for a portion of the $9.3 billion in federal stimulus funds directed towards high-speed rail, he also acknowledged that there are no guarantees, saying “Obviously, in these economic times, it’s hard to say that anything is actually committed”.  However it seems like New York has a good shot.  For one thing,  the Buffalo-to-Albany corridor already is among 11 federally designated corridors.  This includes, the stretch running from Albany to New York City.,

High speed inter-city passenger rail, not only makes for good environmental and energy policy, but it also makes good economic sense., l — especially in the more densely populated areas of the country. Rapid rail networks can help to revitalize whole regions, tying them together from city center to city center. Rail is one of the most energy efficient ways of getting around. Furthermore other major intercity transportation systems, such as the air networks are saturated and many airports especially in larger cities are at or near their capacity. High speed rail offers a viable alternative for medium distance travel.

© 2009, Chris de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

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Author: Chris de Morsella (146 Articles)

After a decade performing as a lead guitarist for rock bands, Chris de Morsella decided to return to the career his uncle mentored him in as a youth....Software Engineering. Since that time he has thrown himself into his work. He has designed a compound document publishing architecture for regulatory submissions capable of handling very large multi-document FDA regulatory drug approval submissions, for Liquent, a division of Thompson Publishing. At the Associated Press, Chris worked with senior editors at facilities around the world, to develop a solution for replacing existing editorial systems with an integrated international content management solution. He lead the design effort at Microsoft for a help system for mobile devices designed to provide contextual help for users. Chris also helped to develop the web assisted installer for LifeCam2.0, the software for Microsoft’s web cam and developed late breaking features for the product He also served with the Rhapsody client team to redesign and build a major new release of Real Networks Rhapsody client product. His most recent assignment has been Working with the Outlook Mobile Time Management team for the next release of Outlook Mobile for the SmartPhone. Chris' interests are in green building and architecture, smart grid, the cloud, geo-thermal energy, solar energy, smart growth, organic farming and permaculture. Follow Chris on Twitter.