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Federal Grants To Mean Less Congestion On NJT, LIRR And Faster Amtrak Service

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haskell_feature Peter Haskell
Peter Haskell joined WCBS in 1994. This followed stints at WCTC Radio...
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NEW YORK (AP/CBSNewYork) - The federal Department of Transportation announced Monday that $745 million would be going toward rail projects that will allow trains to travel up to 160 mph in some sections of the Northeast Corridor and to construction that will allow Amtrak trains to avoid a congested rail junction in part of New York City.

WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell With The Good News


Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the projects would create 12,000 jobs over the span of construction.

“These grants are a win for our economy and a win for commuters all along the Northeast Corridor,” LaHood said. “We are creating new construction jobs, ordering American-made supplies and improving transportation opportunities across a region where 50 million Americans live and work.”

About $450 million will be used to upgrade electrical systems and tracks between Trenton, N.J., and New York. The upgrade means Acela Express trains will be able to achieve a top speed of 160 mph on 24 miles of track between Trenton and New Brunswick, N.J. The current top speed is 135 mph. When Amtrak puts the next generation of high-speed trains into service, top speed will reach 186 mph, the DOT said.

About $295 million will be used to construct an overpass at the Harold Interlocking rail junction in Queens, which the DOT said was the busiest passenger rail junction in the country. The overpass will separate Amtrak trains going between New York and Boston from Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North commuter trains and from New Jersey Transit trains using the Sunnyside Maintenance Yard in Queens. The separation of trains should ease congestion.

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports: Upgrading The Northeast Corridor


“Currently, the situation is somewhat of a tangle and the funds are intended to alleviate that problem,” Jeffrey Zupan of the Regional Plan Association told WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell.

The DOT said pre-construction on the track project between Trenton and New York would start in late 2011 and initial construction would start in 2012. Construction on the overpass project is scheduled to begin in September 2012.

Got any ideas for improving rail service in and around New York City? Share them below!

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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