Share, , , Google Plus, Reddit, Pinterest, StumbleUpon

Print

Posted in:

Cuomo Already Pushing for High Speed Rail

He’s not officially governor yet, but it appears Andrew Cuomo is already hard at work for Western New York.  On Friday, just three days after his election day victory, Cuomo sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood asking that if proposed high-speed rail projects in Ohio and Wisconsin are ended as promised by their recently elected governors, New York would gladly make use of the $1.26 billion in funding that would be forfeited by their cancellations. 

 

Although he won the governorship by the one of the widest margins in history, his opponent Carl Paladino dominated the Western New York vote.  This early move shows some dedication to upstate New York as well as making good on campaign promises.  During his campaign, Cuomo made high-speed rail an important part of his environmental agenda and promised that he would “ensure that New York has done the work necessary to put itself in a position to win more critical federal grants to upgrade our rail system at reasonable cost to enable a reliable service that averages 100 miles per hour between New York City and Albany, Albany and Buffalo, and points in between.”

 

His November 5th letter read as follows:

 

Hon. Ray LaHood
Secretary
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20590

 

Dear Secretary LaHood:

 

High speed rail could be transformative for New York–with the potential to revitalize Upstate New York’s economy with construction jobs now and permanent jobs created by the new high speed rail links to New York City, Toronto and Montreal in the future. That is why I made high speed rail a priority during my campaign, and that is why it will continue to be a top priority for me as Governor.

 

To date, New York has received only a small fraction of federal money for high speed rail, but we want to make it a success now, and my Administration will aggressively pursue all funding opportunities to make high speed rail a reality. Recent reports have stated that incoming Administrations in other states, particularly Ohio and Wisconsin, are seeking to cancel their high speed rail projects and the hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid associated with those projects. Therefore, I would ask you to consider redirecting the federal funding to New York because the project is a top priority.

 

High speed rail could be the 21st Century Erie Canal for New York State and help rebuild Upstate New York’s economy. Now is the moment to build. Thank you for the consideration and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate and call.

 

Best wishes,

 

Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor-Elect

Share, , , Google Plus, Reddit, Pinterest, StumbleUpon

  • JohnMarko

    Great idea for NY!!!
    If the repukes campaigned against this, they should forfit everything that they campaigned against, and give it to areas that DESERVE and WANTED it!!!

  • buffaluv

    High speed rail in Northeast should be a priority. It makes too much sense. Also the price needs to be worked on, it should not cost same to fly as it does to take the train!

  • Dan

    Electrification of the Water Level Route from NYC to Buffalo! Diesel is just a kludge in a high speed rail system.

  • bung

    If the goverment subsidized rail industry like they do to the airline industry a ticket to NYC would be $1.75.

  • bobbycat

    Amtrak is heavily subsidized already. Time is important to most people in America, especially those who fuel our economy. The average business person would prefer to take the 1.5 hour return flight from NYC instead of an unpredictable 8 hour train ride. They have families that they would like to see at the end of a week away from home. Even with high speed rail, the time is still double, or more, than it takes to fly.

  • The Kettle

    Bobbycat>” The average business person would prefer to take the 1.5 hour return flight from NYC instead of an unpredictable 8 hour train ride.”
    Air travel can be unpredictable as well with overbooking, weather events, baggage and other various delays. Add the standard 2hr wait to get from the curb to the gate, as well as waiting for your luggage, and that 1.5 hr flight can take upwards of four hours without normal delays.

  • grad94

    as anyone who has been stranded overnight in atlanta because of delayed or canceled flights can tell you.

  • BuffaloBeer

    During Buffalo’s prime during the late 19th & early 20th centuries the city was second only to chicago as the largest rail hub in the country. Both the rise of air travel and the interstate highway system not only helped to bring rail travel to it’s knees in this country, but as well allowed for Buffalo to be bypassed as a major transportation hub ( the air and road equivalent of the St. Lawrence seaway).
    The opportunities for rail travel to make a major comeback in this country have never been stronger and Buffalo needs to do all it can to rebuild/restore our status as a pivotal/major hub in the rail system. As much as I hate the “Golden Bullet” philosophy of economic development, the re-emergance of the rail industry is the “Golden Bullet” that has the best chance of propelling Buffalo into a new era of economic growth.
    Mario Coumo is correct in saying that “High speed rail could be the 21st Century Erie Canal for New York State and help rebuild Upstate New York’s economy”.
    Let’s just hope that the Federal Government will buy into this and allow Coumo to become our modern DeWitt Clinton.

  • al labruna

    I dont know about you, but Ive found Amtrak’s one way fares btwn Buffalo and NY Penn to range from 56-86 (ish) depending on availability. I dont know of any airline that can come close to that. Particularly for last minute travel.
    And dont forget all the taxes and fees that airlines currently hand a passenger; And paying for checked bags (what the hell is that about, btw?); or your shuttle to and from the airport. . .

  • al labruna

    Of course you are just considering a corridor two end points. City buses dont only take on passengers at the city line and go non stop until downtown. Many Amtrak passengers travel Buffalo to Albany, or Yonkers to Utica, etc. Buffalo is just at the end of that corridor, its not a city pair.
    I would also challenge the assumption that a flight from NYC is only 1.5 hours. You arent considering traveling to the airport, getting your ticket, checking/claiming bags, clearing security, etc.

  • al labruna

    Or Chicago. Or Detroit. Or Denver. Or Cinci.

  • al labruna

    Its odd Cuomo didnt ask for ARC tunnel funds now that Christe cancelled that. Maybe he’s hoping that he will come to his senses. Or maybe its because it would have improved rail access to NYC – and much of his constituent base.

  • dylan marsh

    Support Cuomo’s push for these funds by liking US Dept of Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood on Facebook and posting a comment in favor of NY getting this!!

  • rubagreta

    What a complete waste of money. The subsidy that New York State taxpayers will be stuck with once this white elephant gets going will boggle the mind. I believe it already costs a family of four to take the Acelea from NYC to Washington over $1,000. And that’s not even true high-speed rail.
    I don’t care how fast the train is going. If you need to get from suburban Rochester to suburban Buffalo, you’re not going to drive to downtown Rochester, take the train to the Buffalo, and then take a cab to your suburban destination.
    And from NYC to Buffalo? We already have something called airplanes, I believe.
    This is not Europe, people. We don’t have the population density, and we have much more suburban development.
    If high-speed rail could compete with the other modes of transportation, great. But it can’t. So the taxpayers of New York will be subsidizing the wealthy, who are the only ones who will be able to afford what will be outrageously-priced tickets.
    This is the train to nowhere.

  • Slobadan Melosivic

    completely agree – total waste of money
    and anyone who thinks that this is a result of cuomo’s good intentions is dumber than a box of rocks
    this is just another way it will be easier to drain whats left out of upstate economies and funnel more into the city
    i guarantee nobody here can financially articulate the benefits this will provide to wny

  • al labruna

    rubagreta,
    An express Acela train carries a premium price. Slightly slower regional trains start at under 50 for adults, and under 25 for kids.
    Further, Id point out that the NE corridor makes a tidy profit and has captured half of the market share btwn those cities and trains are generally sold out. Seems to me that they must have determined the correct price points for the highest returns.
    Similarly, Id also point out that the Empire Corridor has had significantly greater demand with most trains selling out over the summer, and more coaches added.
    Now, if you wanted to start questioning this “run Amtrak like a business” BS, than Im all for it.

  • al labruna

    I can, cheaper, faster, cleaner transportation modes always produce jobs.

  • Chris

    It is usually 4 hours or so from midtown. 1 hour to het to the airport. 1 hour before to check in. Half an hour taxi time. 1 hour in the air. half an hour deplane and get luggage.
    That is if all goes well… I would say it is a coin flip if ur on time or not.
    To get to penn station is a major time saver.
    You have to remember high speed rail would only be from Albany. NYC to Albany probably can only go 70.

  • al labruna

    Chris –
    Amtrak parts of the route btwn NYC and Albany alread can hit up to 110. The Albany to Buffalo rte already operates at 79.
    Sadly, there are a number of choke points, capacity issues and slow orders that needlessly slow (or delay) the schedule of the current trains. Most cost much less to fix than building a highway exit to remediate, but repairs have been hung up for years.

  • rubagreta

    The northeast corridor is just about the only place in the country where high-speed rail could make sense. Boston, New York, Philly, Baltimore and Washingon, plus a few stops inbetween, constitute a giant megalopolis with what, 75 to 100 million people? And each of these cities have large and densely developed downtowns around their train stations.
    Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Albany and Poughkeepsie? Who are you kidding?

  • bdgemble

    I’m happy to see that Cuomo is being aggressive about his, however the state needs to make a concerted effort to collaborate with other states/advocacy groups in the Great Lakes Megaregion. I think our efforts would go much farther in a more common sense approach of connecting to our Great Lakes sister cities such as Toronto, Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago. For a number of reasons, it’s more important to build a HSR network with those cities first than with NYC, as nice as that would be. Oh, also that’s where the $ has been going, largely because the Midwest has worked collaboratively, I believe.

  • BuffaloBeer

    The rail is more than just another connection between “suburban buffalo and suburban rochester” it allows for additional access to toronto, montreal, nyc, boston; these are the cities/regions where a connection such as this will add to our possible economic growth. I understand that we already have air travel and highway travel that connect buffalo to these areas, however with the rising cost of each of those options, both time and money, having another option is vital.
    Warren Buffet just took one of the biggest investment risks of his career when he purchased Burlington Northern Railroad for $34 billion. He stated that he did so because he felt that railroads represented our future. I would say his track record so far is more than pretty good.
    Buffalo benefited as a railroad city in the past, and if history is repeating itself here with the re-emergance of railroad as an important and viable means of transportation than there is no reason why any of us should fight Buffalo’s chance at benefitting from it again.
    Suburban Buffalo will benefit not from being connected to suburban rochester via high-speed rail (yes I understand that the highway access is a more viable connection for these two areas) however it will benefit from the increased economic benefits the rail connection will present from being linked to other major canadian and northeastern economic hubs. This (if done right) will benefit our urban economic core and thus the benefits will spread to the suburbs.
    Yes I also understand that this is not Europe, however the scale seems to be tipping in favor of less suburban development and more city/urban development. Suburban growth was and is fueled by the auto industry while urban growth was, is, and will be fueled by the rail industry. I don’t want to turn this into a anti-suburban discussion here, but as our nation searches for alternative means of transportation as a way to combat not only rising fuel costs but to combat the other cost factors associated with gas/oil such as national security, railroads will continue to be a leading answer to to all the questions.
    Sometimes when a person or place is in a funk and need to revitalize their life/area, one of the best answers is to look at what made that person/place successful in the first place and to try to recapture that. In this case Buffalo has the rail system to thank for many of its past successes and growth, and we now have the chance to have the rail system aid in our new successes and growth. Let’s not fight what worked before and what can work again.

  • bobbycat

    It is unpredictable a fraction of the time. I’ve taken the Amtrak from Boston to Washington DC and from Buffalo to NYC a few times and just about every time there is some delay. One time it was 4 hours due to a frozen track, another time it was a 2 hour delay because of freight traffic. One time we waited outside Syracuse for almost five hours because someone died on the tracks. Trains are not without complications and delays. The average time to travel from NYC to Buffalo by rail is 7 hours, by plane is 2.5 hours. If I am flying back from NYC on the 4:15 JetBlue then I am usually home 6:00 PM. I would waste an entire day if I had to do the same by train.
    High speed rail may help, but it is an outdated technology that hasn’t caught on in America. I don’t see this as any more of a silver bullet (no pun intended) for Buffalo as the sculpture park by the waterfront.

  • al labruna

    ruba –
    Buffalo to NYC is well within the 200-500 mile distance sweet spot for conventional rail and HSR. That is forgetting the proximity of TO, but that is a different story.
    And there are many corridors that are currently very busy, including Harrisburg-Philly, Chicago- Milwaukee, Boston-Portland, Albany-NYC, Richmond-DC, St Louis-Chicago, SD-LA-SF, SF-Sacramento, Chic-Detroit, KC-St Louis, Springfield -NYC, Portland-Chicago . . . that doesnt include the many cities that could actually support such services – like Pitt – Philly or Tampa – Orlando.
    And actually, I take the train to P-town quite frequently. What are you basing your insight on, a guess? hearsay?

  • 300miles

    I agree. That makes total sense. But NYS is focused on NYC and Albany, not Buffalo. So NY will focus rail on it’s own epicenter NYC and it’s connections with the northeast. I doubt Cuomo will see it differently.
    Buffalo needs to push its own agenda with the midwest and forcibly drag Albany along for the support and financing. That requires some local leadership that doesn’t just repeat the Albany playbook.
    Plus it involves more interstate cooperation and is more complicated than just organizing a NY-only line. Again, don’t expect too much excitement from Albany for all that extra complexity.

  • Slobadan Melosivic

    ya – the expansion of air travel and automobiles have really helped wny – so many jobs being created here every day as a result (unless for some reason you’re thinking we are in japan)
    stop wasting my time

  • al labruna

    So then we might as well close the airport and shut the thruway, eh, smart guy?

  • Lego1981

    I support this, only if it has a stop DOWNTOWN and not in Depew!!!

  • JohnMarko

    The time it PRESENTLY takes is the whole reason for the much needed work.
    Amtrack gets MINIMAL subsidies – the Airline Industry gets about a thousand times more in subsidies – look it up…

  • JohnMarko

    If the government upgraded the lines as planned – it would cut the travel time to a quarter of the time PRESENTLY takes, and then even MORE people would use it.
    Even with the shitty service it has now, the numbers continually are RISING in ridership.

  • LouisTully

    Hi speed rail will be no more successful than the wonderful job the ECHDC is doing with our waterfront. That is to say, it won’t be successful at all.
    Don’t be fooled:


  • slowrollin99

    Linking Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, NYC via high speed rail would create a synergy that would be a very powerful economic force. This is a great idea not only in the aspect of accommodating for business but for tourism as well. Think Europe, China, Japan etc. Most utilize high speed rail systems.
    We may be late to the high speed rail party but it is time we arrive.
    Now get it done Mr. Cuomo.

  • Joshua

    This is why Cuomo is our man. He knows that the residents of Buffalo had given him a lot of support. I know he will not forget Buffalo.

  • Chris

    Yes, I was referring to the problems between Albany and NYC. Going though Manhattan and Westchester you will not be able to let it rip.
    There is lots of room to make changes upstate. Downstate it is more difficult. The rail goes right along the river, twisting and turning with the hudson. The rail also goes through dense residential areas, I doubt the public would allow for Amrak to rip though town at 100mpg.
    To be honest I would expect NYC to Boston rail plan to happen before NYC to upstate. Amtrak just released plans for that which would route though NYC, White Plains airport, Hartford and Boston in 90 mins.

  • bung

    Airlines don’t even pay HALF of FAA cost
    Between 1980-1989, total spending by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was $54.9 billion. Of that amount, less that half, 45.1% came from user charges. The rest, 54.9% came from non-users through the general revenue fund. -Source: Office of Management and Budget
    U.S. has a Third-World rail transportation system
    According to a study by the International Railway Journal, the United States ranks between Bolivia and Turkey in mainline railroad spending per capita at $1.64. The average is $21.85, with a high of $228.29 for Switzerland and a low of $.29 for the Philippines.
    Between 1971 and 1994, capital spending for Amtrak has never exceeded $220 million in any year…about the cost of a mile or two of urban freeway. On that, Amtrak is supposed to make the investments to become profitable.

  • grad94

    actually, no.
    i just tried the amtrak fare calculator for a fictional two adults and two children traveling next weekend. round trip for all four, ny to dc, ranges from $228 to $474, add $400-$500 if you want first class. this includes the acela express at $405.

  • gailwhatever

    this will NEVER HAPPEN

  • buffaluv

    I agree that we should push connections from Buffalo to Cleveland and beyond in the midwest lines and also to the Canadian VIA rail line which is actually a very good service that I have taken from Falls, Canada all the way up to Quebec. I have also taken the high speed trains in Europe connecting Paris to London and it was a great experience. We should look at both as they both provide great service from my experience.
    Also, Buffalo should push for a new train station downtown as the current one is embarassing and a bit dangerous if arrving at night as you are stuck outside waiting for your ride if they are not waiting for you. And hopefully, the new station could combine the bus hub too and maybe connect directly with the airport. Perhaps closer to the Canalside area too and NFTA rail lines? To make a system that makes sense and is more user friendly.
    And of course flying is quicker but not everyone is in a huge hurry. From my experience the rail prices were a bit higher than I expected for the price/time tables/length of trip I have ended up flying or even driving to NYC over using trains. Also the frequency of trains could be increased, maybe with faster trips this could be possible.

  • whatever

    Cuomo>”High speed rail could be the 21st Century Erie Canal for New York State and help rebuild Upstate New York’s economy.”
    Ridiculous claims. How is shaving about 30% off passenger rail travel time between Buffalo and NYC comparable in impact to what the Erie Canal was?
    And how would it “rebuild” Buffalo’s economy? (or Rochester’s, etc.)? Specifically?
    Hasn’t Syracuse for many decades been about a 5.5 hour train ride to/from NYC? That’s roughly the same travel time that would result between Buffalo and NYC if and when HSR is built.
    How much economic benefit and has resulted in Central NY all these years as a result of it being 5.5 hours by rail from NYC? Pretty much none, right? Hasn’t that area has been stagnating very similar to how WNY has?
    What serious reasons are there to believe it would have any more economic impact for WNY to be a 5.5 hour HSR train ride from NYC when that condition has had such little impact on Central NY all this time?

  • Pegger

    When I was a kid, my parents would put me on a train From the Central Terminal to spend time with my grandparents in the Albany area. That dates me. But, it was a great trip and always had a lot of passengers. My father hated the Thruway.

  • sho’nuff

    I thnk this is really good news for Buffalo and upstate NY. It can only help our region.
    With more and more companies adopting tele-communiting and remote working arrangements with workers, we may be able to sell our low property costs, easy commutes, and quality of services to people from downstate. These are people who would no longer be forced to live in the NYC metro region just because they work there. They could take a reasonably quick train or plane ride to work once a week or every-other week to check in, then work from home or in a remote office in a place like Buffalo the rest of the time.
    This is something that we could begin to market, especially to people who may feel that their Rent is 2 Damn High. The rent isn’t too damn high in Buffalo.

  • Slobadan Melosivic
  • Jesse

    ROFL
    Yeah. Cuomo’s going to fix our broken government by adding MORE cost to it in the form of boondoggle train nonsense?
    AWESOME.
    I’ve LOVED riding trains in Europe. But it just doesn’t work economically. People like STEEL like to bitch about how subsidies let people live in sprawl, but then love trains? Talk about making the vast majority pay for something a fraction uses…….
    .

  • sho’nuff

    I don’t think he gives a rats a$$ about upstate NY, I was saying that the train could help us economically if we market Buffalo as a viable option to living in a bigger city. I know it is a stretch. Please don’t ever take my commentary as supporting Cuomo. He is part of the political machine that is crippling New York.

  • ranjekna

    Has Cuomo every made any comments about the Central Terminal’s use? I would like to know what each leader from our area has said or done. Who are the big supporters?

  • Derek J. Punaro

    Cuomo has not. You can see a summary of political support on the CTRC’s website here: http://buffalocentralterminal.org/about/buffalo-central-terminal-is-right-for-high-speed-rail/

  • rubagreta

    Good point about Syracuse being closer to NYC and not benefiting from the proximity.
    But you don’t have to even look that far. Poughkeepise is 90 minutes by rail to NYC. Been to Poughkeepsie lately?

  • al labruna

    By this line of specious logic, the Thruway hasnt helped Syracuse or Poughkeepise either.

  • biniszkiewicz

    that’s a funny link

  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/dGiqCDZu2v7Qp4jkpHlwzMt5IusALb_H#0c90b

    If you are interested in keeping up with developments on High Speed Rail in NYS, you can follow our facebook group, too. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=41825689063

  • whatever

    al – I don’t think anyone is saying it wouldn’t help Upstate NY metros at all if rail travel time is reduced by 30%.
    But the help would be very slight, much less impact than the Thruway, and it’s arguable whether it would be the smartest use of the state’s $.
    What’s really specious is for Cuomo or anybody to grossly exaggerate the economic impact for Upstate by saying it would be comparable to the Erie Canal in the 1800’s.
    Consider how few people now travel in NYS by Amtrak instead of car or air. Suppose it would double if HSR exists. That’s a generous guess because once arriving in Upstate metro areas, one usually needs a car to go to end destinations. That will still discourage choosing rail. But even if the % of rail use doubled, it’s pretty small. Most travel would still be by car within Upstate, and by car or air between WNY and downstate.
    It won’t give Upstate the big economic boost some politicians are claiming. Why are they trying to mislead so much?

  • Stargazer

    I cannot wait for High Speed Rail in NYS….it has been way too long for improvement in our transportation systems

  • Stargazer

    @ grad94:…….gee I got a RT from Buffalo to NYC for $100………you have to buy your tickets a month in advance if you want discounts. The prices go up & up the closer to the dates you plan to leave……if I bought it 3 days before departure the RT fare would of been $200!!!

  • Stargazer

    @ rubagreta: You for get all the people who travel from Toronto to NYC….the highspeed in the armpit NE corridoor cannot be done….too many stops, too close together…..Besides you have the Jersey Transit, LIRR, & various Metros that travel to & from all those cities in the NE

  • al labruna

    Whatever, I grant you, it aint the Erie Canal. Nor will it have such an impact. Hyperbole and politics are often one and the same.
    That said, the proposal is more of an intermediate step than bullet train. Its a compromise version of HSR – and I think very appropriate. No one is suggesting that 220 mph trains ply the route every 20 minutes (OK, some are). This is meager capacity and reliability building – things that should have been completed years ago. Improvements that are relatively inexpensive compared to highway building.
    For example, west of Albany, the line goes to a single track choke point leading for many delays. For much less than a highway exit, this could have been double tracked years ago. Instead, decades of needless delays plagued both passenger and freight rail systems (the reasons that it wasnt built get a bit byzantine, Ill spare you all the details).
    Considering the spiking demand and record ridership as well as goals like energy independence and city redevelopment this *meager* amount is well invested.

  • al labruna

    BTW, the lame duck Wisconsin Gov. just did an end around on the incoming administration. He went ahead and committed to the funds. See:
    http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/106488923.html

  • Slobadan Melosivic

    keep waiting – the train will go from albany non stop to toronto, whipping by here only to unload the garbage and feces from the passengers. Maybe if we’re lucky,they’ll throw some refundable pop bottles
    if it were possible – cuomo would ship power from the falls to nyc on these things

  • buffaluv

    I am not really aware of the exact plans but this piece I read discusses combining high speed rail with Thruway, I think alongside each other, perhaps in the median? For example, if you have been to Washington DC they have trains going out to Virginia suburbs in the middle of the expressway with elevated walkways over to parking lots on other side of expressway. It would make sense as the land is free and it would be safer than having the high speed rail run through side streets of communities.
    “Metropolis magazine columnist Karrie Jacobs has encouraged the “adaptive reuse” of the 47,000 mile Eisenhower Interstate system to accommodate rail as one component in remaking the nation’s infrastructure. The New York State Thruway already connects most of the state’s major cities, and a creative reuse of this existing infrastructure could shrink the timetable for completing this project, lessen the need to utilize eminent domain or further encroach on the state’s precious landscape, and bring about economic benefits.
    For those who worry about running automobiles and trains alongside one another, high-speed rail service can be incredibly safe. Separated-grade intersections and dedicated pathways would allow high-speed rail, highway traffic, and slower local traffic to co-exist with minimal risks of intermodal collisions. Japan’s Shinkansen system has experienced only one derailment in more than 50 years of operation – and it was precipitated by an earthquake.
    Transportation has been central to the economic development of this state, from the construction of the Erie Canal during the early 19th century to the mid 20th century development of the interstate system. The integration of high-speed rail into the thruway system would simply be the most logical next step. The presence of an efficient, affordable transportation system could spur tourism, foster greater regional connectivity among upstate cities, and more tightly integrate upstate economies with nearby megacities like New York City and Toronto.”

  • whatever

    Yes, maybe the ridiculous comparison to the canal was just clumsy hyperbole from Cuomo, or maybe pandering they assume the commoners will swoon over. Or who knows, maybe his staff is so unfamiliar with Upstate that they really think it’s true. No reporter he’d ever grant an interview would dare question him aggressively about such topics. Either way, it was a very lame thing to write in the letter.
    And I realize it isn’t a major speed upgrade being considered, as indicated by my reference to a 30% or so reduction in travel time. Maybe it wouldn’t even be that much (which makes any wild claims of economic boost even dumber).
    Btw, the jsonline.com report you linked below was written Nov 1 before the election. More recent reports are less certain. Wisconsin voters not only elected a gov candidate who campaigned strongly against HSR, but they also switched both houses of their state legislature from D to R majorities, turning that state very red for now. Time will tell if their new gov keeps his promise to fully oppose HSR.
    People favoring HSR here might be happy that Ohio, Wisconsin, and Florida voters all elected new govs who oppose HSR. But another thing that could affect what happens is the new leadership in Congress might find ways to undo overspending promises made by their predecessors.

  • al labruna

    Buffluv,
    Using a highway median isnt really feasible. too many curves and grades in NYS. The rail route however is astonishingly level and relatively straight (in places).

  • JSmith

    The funniest thing about Wisconsin is that at the same time that the governor-elect campaigned on an unambiguous platform to reject federal stimulus funding for passenger rail improvements (even though the funds are already committed), he is also trying to convince train manufacturer Talgo not to shut down their plant in Milwaukee!

  • al labruna

    Whatever –
    Id agree that the letter is likely just pure politics. Its not like the Sec. Lahood would just show up here with a wheelbarrow full of cash and say go nuts. There was a long grant process, one in which NYS did not do too well in. There are other states and other corridors that would like and discarded cash too.
    Further, like the good Gov-elect, Im inclined to believe that many of the new libertarian administrations are just playing politics. Im betting that the majority of these projects go through – abet perhaps in a different form or funding model.
    Sry about that link. I had picked up the piece in a rail journal and did not note the date.

  • buffaluv

    Using the median might not be feasible as is but it should be looked at if with a few modifications if it could work.

  • al labruna

    buffalov
    im not trying to be obstinate – but the issue has been pretty well examined. the turn radii are too sharp, particularly when compared to the existing rail ROW. Its worth noting that the rail route once held the land speed record of 112.5 mph, in 1893.
    In addition, the route from NYC to Pou is owned by Metro North and sees only very limited freight movements to interfere with operations.

  • LouisTully

    Too late. Joshua already drank the kool-aid.

  • buffaluv

    Al- You obviously have more knowledge on this topic than I do. I will take your word for it. I was just posting info I read online that I think was posted in a Rochester paper. I hope they explore all possibilties for the best options.

  • whatever

    Well the work Talgo does now in Wisconsin reportedly isn’t for HSR equipment yet, so it doesn’t sound inconsistent if the gov-elect hopes at least that work continues there.
    And who knows, Talgo might decide it makes sense for some HSR-related manufacturing to happen there too eventually even if that project is canceled. Places where HSR makes the most sense (northeast coast states for example), might not always be the best states for manufacturing.

  • al labruna

    Buf-
    Id love to see the link if you might still have it.

  • buffaluv