U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced $3.3 million for the State of New York to add track and rail capacity in the congested Upstate New York area, advancing the state's high-speed intercity passenger rail program.
The project will relieve congestion, leading to greater reliability and faster travel times, and is necessary to achieve the faster speeds for future high-speed rail development. The project is being funded from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
New York State received $3.3 million for two miles of second mainline track used by Amtrak's Adirondack and Ethan Allen Express services near the Village of Ballston Spa, N.Y. Both of these services saw an increase in ridership in 2010, and the second mainline track will relieve significant congestion near the Saratoga train station and a major freight classification yard.
The existing congestion requires Amtrak trains to wait up to 30 minutes for the track to clear. The New York Department of Transportation is contributing $3.5 million for this project, which has also signed a service outcome agreement with Canadian Pacific Railway. Construction will begin in spring 2011.