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Empire Corridor Environmental Impact Statement Planning Study

New York

Passenger Rail Projects

Empire Corridor Environmental Impact Statement Planning Study

Empire Corridor

Funding: $1 million from FY ’09 funds from the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act, $1.8 million federal-state planning and research funds, $1.7 million state funds

The High-Speed Rail Empire Corridor Project is a joint enterprise of FRA and NYSDOT. The effort is examining ways both to introduce passenger train speeds of at least 110 mph west of Schenectady and to improve reliability, travel times and frequency of passenger rail service throughout the Corridor.

In November 2010, New York’s Department of Transportation completed a series of public outreach open houses and scoping meetings on bringing high-speed rail to the Empire corridor. Meetings were held in Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, Utica, Albany and New York City, as well as virtual meetings hosted on the state’s website. The public response was overwhelmingly positive and a compilation of public comments is expected soon.

The next project will be to develop the environmental impact statement covering the 463-mile long designated high-speed rail corridor that runs through Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Schenectady, Albany and south to New York City. A marketing study and operational analysis, goals for frequency, trip time, on-time performance, and operational changes and investments in infrastructure and equipment in order to achieve those goals will be identified and established. Public hearings on the proposed draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) will be held in mid-2011 and conclude in mid-2012 with a Final EIS and FRA Record of Decision.

Railroads working with the state: CSX Transportation, Canadian Pacific, Amtrak and Metro-North Railroad

More information at: http://www.nysdot.gov/empire-corridor and http://www.nysdot.gov/recovery.

Goals of the effort are at: https://www.nysdot.gov/divisions/policy-and-strategy/planning-bureau/state-rail-plan