NEW YORK GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES HUDSON RAIL LINE LEASE

     (The following press release from the New York State Governor's Office was 
received by e-mail and was reformatted. The sender verified the statement.) 
State of New York | Executive Chamber
Andrew M. Cuomo | Governor
For Immediate Release: December 4, 2012 
GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES HUDSON RAIL LINE LEASE 
Amtrak/CSX Deal Will Improve Passenger Service, Move Projects Forward 
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a long-term lease agreement between 
CSX Corporation and Amtrak, enabling Amtrak to take full control of the Hudson 
Line between Schenectady and Poughkeepsie. The contract, which took effect at 
12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, ensures that passenger rail service has 
scheduling priority there and paves the way for four significant rail 
improvement projects totaling $181 million. The improvements will reduce 
congestion along the Empire Corridor from New York City to Niagara Falls and 
improve travel times and reliability for passengers and freight. 
“High-speed rail is a critical part of the transportation network of New York 
State’s future and these four projects made possible by an historic and 
long-awaited agreement between passenger and freight rail partners are another 
step toward improving New York State’s economy by fostering a rail system that 
is fast, reliable and efficient for business and leisure travelers, as well as 
for companies shipping goods across the state,” Governor Cuomo said. 
“Communities, especially in upstate New York, rely on rail transportation to 
bolster local economic activity. Enhancements to rail service will continue to 
lead to job creation and business growth all over New York State.” 
Governor Cuomo has successfully competed for and won scarce federal passenger 
rail funding over the last several years. In addition to ensuring that the 
Hudson Line funding can be spent efficiently through this unique lease 
arrangement, Governor Cuomo has increased the total federal funding captured by 
NYS by over $400 million and has leveraged significant state funds to win 
federal competitions. As of today, NYS is progressing passenger rail projects 
with federal, state and local funding amounting to over $942 million.  
The New York State Department of Transportation led the efforts to transform 
the 94-mile Hudson Line from Schenectady to Poughkeepsie from a 
freight-controlled line to an Amtrak-controlled line. For decades signals have 
been designed to freight standards, and all planning and construction was 
subject to approval and control of the freight railroad. Dispatching of trains 
will now move from CSX’s freight yard at Selkirk to Amtrak’s Command and 
Control Center in New York City. Amtrak also can improve the Hudson Line and 
take advantage of Federal Railroad Administration funding without the approval 
of CSX. 
“For years I have been working to improve passenger rail service across the 
Empire Corridor in New York State,” said Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, 
founder and co-chair of the Bicameral Bipartisan Congressional High-Speed and 
Intercity Passenger Rail Caucus. “This is certainly a wonderful step and I am 
hopeful that it serves as the beginning for similar agreements that will 
benefit those of us in other parts of New York State. This agreement will go 
far toward improving reliability and speed for the thousands of New Yorkers who 
depend upon rail service for their livelihood and to stay connected to their 
loved ones. I look forward to working with all of the parties involved as we 
introduce similar agreements in the Rochester region.” 
“With this historic agreement, Amtrak and our state partners can now move 
forward together and begin work on key infrastructure projects to enhance 
passenger rail travel in New York State,” Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman 
said. “Our goal is to provide a more reliable and enjoyable travel experience 
for passengers. I would like to thank our state and federal partners for their 
continued support of rail travel in the region.” 
New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Joan McDonald 
said, “These rail projects will upgrade technology, modernize the corridor and 
enhance the traveler experience by providing faster, more efficient service 
that users can count on. The agreement between Amtrak and CSX also means the 
State’s high-speed rail system will be eligible for additional federal funding, 
which we will work with our state and federal partners to aggressively pursue.” 
"CSX is very pleased that it could work with New York State and Amtrak on this 
historic agreement that establishes the foundation for even stronger rail 
connections between metropolitan and upstate New York. We look forward to 
working with Amtrak as it takes on responsibility for operations on the Hudson 
Line between Hoffmans and Poughkeepsie," said Louis Renjel, CSX's vice 
president-strategic infrastructure. "The agreement also ensures that CSX will 
have the ability to continue providing efficient, economical and 
environmentally beneficial freight rail service to customers and communities on 
the line." 
Work already is underway on four significant passenger rail improvement 
projects being progressed jointly by NYSDOT and Amtrak. $155.5 million of 
funding for these projects is being provided by the federal government, 
including $147.6 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment 
Act. $23.15 million will come from New York State. The four projects are: 
· Construction of an additional track between Rensselaer and Schenectady to 
significantly reduce congestion. Work started this fall on a $91.2 million 
project to build 17 miles of new track, doubling capacity between the two 
cities. With the existing single track, a train must stop and wait for a train 
running in the opposite direction to pass. A double track will eliminate this 
critical bottleneck for the entire corridor and improve performance time for 
all trains between Albany and points west. The project began this season with 
delivery of materials and culvert work, with track work to begin next year and 
project completion scheduled for the fall of 2017. The work is fully funded 
through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 
· Building a critically important fourth track at the Rensselaer Station to 
reduce congestion and delays. When the Rensselaer Station was built in 2002, 
funding was not available to build a fourth track. Trains wait outside the 
station for as long as 20 minutes for a platform to become available, causing 
congestion at the station and delays for passengers. This is a $50.5 million 
project funded with State and federal dollars. Construction began this season 
with preparatory culvert work and delivery of materials, including 20,000 
railroad ties, 9,000 tons of ballast, 137,000 pounds of railroad spikes, and 
1,000 tie plates and anchors. Track installation will begin next year and the 
entire project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2017. 
· Grade crossing improvements along the Empire Corridor South to improve safety 
for motor vehicles and trains. The railroad runs along the Hudson River where 
people also live, work and enjoys boating and other pastimes, making it 
critical that crossings over the rail tracks are safe for vehicles and 
pedestrians. This $2.45 million project includes safety improvements at 13 
at-grade rail crossings in Columbia, Dutchess and Rensselaer counties. Work 
includes installing new LED lights, electronic flashers and bells, speed 
predictors, new gates and constructing other intersection improvements. The 
first location at Ferry Road in the town of Stuyvesant, Columbia County, has 
been completed. Improvements at the remaining 12 locations are to be completed 
during the next two years. The work is fully funded through the federal 
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 
· Signal line improvements south of Albany to significantly improve the 
reliability of rail service, particularly during inclement weather. This is a 
$36.5 million project to replace more than 60 miles of obsolete signal wires, 
burying lines that now hang on poles along the rail line and replacing 
30-year-old wiring with new underground power cable and electronic track 
circuits. The signal wires are the source of frequent outages along the Hudson 
line, especially during inclement weather. Travelers all too often experience 
the frustration of moving at 15 miles an hour over track capable of supporting 
110 mph. Approximately 30 percent of the delays south of Albany during bad 
weather are caused by signal malfunction or damage. Design is ongoing and work 
will begin next season. The project is being advanced with State and federal 
rail funds and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016. 
“This is tremendous news for New York rail passengers and will finally allow 
for millions of federal dollars to be spent on vital rail improvements and the 
improved reliability that we have long advocated for,” said Senator Charles E. 
Schumer. “The second track between Albany and Schenectady has long been 
considered the “Holy Grail” Upstate rail project, and the new station at 
Schenectady and 4th track in Rensselaer station will make rail travel much more 
efficient and enjoyable.” 
“I firmly believe in the power of high speed rail to drive economic growth in 
New York State,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate 
Environment and Public Works Committee. “Investing in new transportation 
infrastructure is one of the fastest, most effective ways to create jobs now, 
and lay the foundation for a growing economy and more jobs in the future. We’ve 
worked hard to make high speed rail a reality in our state. With these new 
projects in motion, we can connect more of our major business and research 
hubs, connect workers and businesses faster, attract new businesses, spark new 
innovation, and create thousands of new construction jobs right now developing 
rail lines.” 
Representative Paul Tonko said, “This deal between Amtrak and CSX is yet 
another step in the right direction for passenger rail travel in New York 
State,” said Congressman Paul Tonko. “As we continue to incrementally pursue 
and build high speed rail, especially with these four crucial projects around 
the Capital Region, travelers will continue to see rail as a viable, 
competitive alternative to driving. Rail is the most energy efficient form of 
travel and can help improve our regional marketability and quality of life.” 
Travel on Amtrak was the highest in its 41-year history in July 2012. All 
indications are that the trend will continue, especially since here in New York 
State investments in passenger rail infrastructure are being prioritized and 
built for the first time in decades. Albany-Rensselaer is Amtrak’s 5th busiest 
station in the nation. More than 1.65 million people traveled between Albany 
and New York City in 2012, up 3 percent from 2011. 
Additional news available at www.governor.ny.gov
New York State | Executive Chamber | press.office@exec.ny.gov | 518.474.8418 
(kgt)NY 
 
 
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