Governor Hochul Announces $76.4 Million in Freight Rail Infrastructure Investments
State Funding Provided to Enhance Safety, Improve Service Reliability and Support Regional Economic Development
Full List of Awarded Projects by Region Available Here
New York (STL.News) Governor Kathy Hochul announced $76.4 million in funding for 38 projects to renew and modernize New York’s freight rail infrastructure. These 100 percent State funded grants complement the more than $100 million annually in private infrastructure investments made in New York by the freight rail industry. Strategic investments in freight rail improvements are essential for maintaining and enhancing market access for manufacturing and agricultural businesses across the State, including Alcoa in the North Country Region, Corning in the Southern Tier Region, and Lackawanna Products in the Western New York Region.
“The infrastructure projects funded with these grants will further fuel our economic comeback with new construction jobs, while making regional economies more competitive in the long term and enhancing the movement of commodities in an environmentally sustainable way,” said Governor Hochul. “As New York leads the nation in its efforts to combat climate change, we will continue to prioritize funding for initiatives that promote economic growth in a responsible manner while mitigating threats to our environment.”
The Passenger and Freight Rail Assistance Program, administered by the New York State Department of Transportation, supports investments that enhance the safe movement of freight goods, improves service reliability to retain and grow manufacturing jobs, and supports economic development, especially upstate. Today’s announcement provides funding for track and bridge rehabilitation, capacity expansion, procurement of cleaner rail equipment, and the modernization and expansion of rail infrastructure in freight yards and at seaport facilities.
Today’s strategic investments in freight rail also serve to support New York’s nation leading climate goals. Freight rail has proven to be one the most fuel-efficient methods for moving commerce and is more than three-times more efficient compared to goods movement by truck. A single freight rail train removes several hundred trucks from our roadways, mitigating congestion and harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, New York continues to make smart investments in infrastructure to facilitate economic recovery and growth. These targeted investments in rail will keep well-paying manufacturing jobs in upstate New York and ensure that goods are delivered efficiently, and in an environmentally sustainable manner.”
Senator Timothy M. Kennedy said, “This investment in New York’s freight rail infrastructure is much needed, and is a critical component of establishing a green, sustainable framework for our economy as we rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic. I firmly believe this will strengthen both transportation capabilities and commerce statewide, and I applaud the Governor for making this a priority.”
Assemblyman William B. Magnarelli said, “Investing in freight infrastructure is essential, not only maintaining but also modernizing our established system and alleviating highway congestion. Manufacturing and agricultural businesses will benefit, helping and reinforcing the general economy of our state.”
Charles Hunter, President, Railroads of New York said, “Railroads of New York (RONY) wishes to thank Governor Hochul, our partners in the State Legislature, and the Department of Transportation for providing these essential funds. This investment will help our state’s railroads maintain and expand upon a safe, reliable, environmentally-friendly rail network that allows New York State businesses to realize the tremendous competitive advantage freight rail service provides in transporting goods all across North America.”