Governor Cuomo Announces Opening of Freight Rail Service on New Portageville Bridge- December 11, 2017
Replacement of Historic Crossing in Letchworth State Park Will Protect the Long-Term Viability of New York State’s Freight Rail Network and Support Economic Growth
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the start of freight rail service on the new Portageville Bridge in Letchworth State Park. The new bridge will allow Norfolk Southern Railway to continue safe, reliable, and efficient rail operations on the route — operations that are critical to the economic viability and growth of Upstate New York.
“The new Portageville Bridge complements the beauty of Letchworth State Park while providing safer, more efficient freight rail service,” Governor Cuomo said. “Through a combined effort with Norfolk Southern, government leaders and the public, we have built a modern arch bridge which will support economic growth in the region and continued our drive to strengthen and modernize transportation infrastructure across the state for generations to come.”
In December 2014, Governor Cuomo announced federal approval of the plan to build a new arch bridge to replace the historic Portageville Bridge carrying the Norfolk Southern Railway Southern Tier Line.
The new bridge was constructed just to the south of the old Portageville Bridge, which was built in 1875 and has been a prominent feature in Letchworth State Park for more than a century. That structure will be removed upon completion of the new arch span. The new bridge addresses deficiencies in the historic structure and is capable of carrying current industry standard freight rail loads while to the greatest degree possible meeting Federal Railroad Administration travel speeds.
The design and construction for the $75 million bridge project included $15.5 million in funds provided through the New York State, including a $2 million grant from the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council and $13.5 million in State and federal funds through the New York State Department of Transportation; and $59.5 million from Norfolk Southern.
James A. Squires, Norfolk Southern Chairman, President and CEO, said, “This is a very exciting day for Norfolk Southern and for the future of freight rail service in New York’s Southern Tier region. The successful completion of this bridge is an excellent demonstration of how the public and private sectors can work together on freight transportation projects that generate significant public benefits and are vital to U.S. commerce. It’s also a testament to Norfolk Southern’s robust bridge program and the ingenuity of engineers and railroaders.”
New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, “The new Portageville Bridge will help keep New York’s rail network running safely and efficiently, a top priority for companies looking to locate and grow their businesses in the Empire State. This is one more example of Governor Cuomo’s support for strengthening the State’s transportation infrastructure in a way that helps boost local and regional economies.”
The route is a critical freight rail link between Buffalo and Binghamton, and provides connections to Canada and the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. In addition to serving as essential freight link for Norfolk Southern, the Southern Tier route is used by Canadian Pacific Railway and provides interchange connections to 11 short line railroads.
The bridge was identified in the 2009 New York State Rail Plan as one of the ten most significant rail bottlenecks in the state. In 2011, the Regional Economic Development Council’s Strategic Plan identified replacement of the bridge among their five-year projects to address barriers to economic growth.
Representatives from Norfolk Southern and the following six federal agencies worked collaboratively on this project: Federal Highway Administration; Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; National Park Service; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. State agencies involved include the Department of Environmental Conservation; Department of Transportation; and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
More information is available on the project website at www.dot.ny.gov/portagevillebridge.
Paul Karas has been appointed Commissioner of the Department of Transportation to continue the Governor’s $100 billion investment plan to modernize aging infrastructure across the state. Before joining the Cuomo Administration, Mr. Karas served for four years as Vice President and Manager of RS&H, Inc., a transportation and buildings infrastructure consulting firm. Prior to that, he served as President and Founder of Karas Associates Co., an infrastructure development consultancy. Mr. Karas has extensive experience working at the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey, where he served as director of the $3.2 billion John F. Kennedy International Airport Redevelopment Program, and he previously served as the Commissioner of Public Works for the City of Chicago for three years. In 2004, Mr. Karas was appointed by the Illinois legislature to the Northeastern Illinois Regional Transportation Task Force, and in 1997, he was appointed by the U.S. House of Representatives to the Blue-Ribbon Advisory Committee for developing solutions to funding and operating concerns regarding Amtrak. Mr. Karas received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, and a MBA from the University of Michigan.
Governor Cuomo today named Ali Chaudhry as the new Deputy Secretary for Transportation.
“Railroads of New York wishes to congratulate Mr. Chaudhry on his new position within Governor Cuomo’s Administration,” said Nathan Fenno, President of Railroads of New York. “He has been a tireless advocate for New York’s robust transportation system and our member freight railroads look forward to working with him to continue to grow the state’s rail network to help promote economic development opportunities all across the state.”
Mr. Chaudhry most recently served as the Governor’s Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and has worked on a number of legislative issues with RONY over the past few years. Before that, he was Assistant Counsel to Governor Cuomo for two years with a focus on transportation and economic development. He provided counsel on priority capital projects including the LaGuardia Airport redevelopment, the new Tappan Zee Bridge, the Second Avenue Subway, the MTA Capital Plan, the DOT Capital Plan, the Empire Station Complex, the Broadband Initiative, and the expansion of the Javits Convention Center. Mr. Chaudhry has also served as counsel on various economic development projects across the State, as well as alternative project delivery procurement. Prior to joining the Executive Chamber, Mr. Chaudhry served as Assistant Counsel in the New York State Senate, where he was counsel to several legislative committees over the course of three years. Before joining public service, Mr. Chaudhry practiced civil litigation in the private sector, focusing on employment matters.
Governor Cuomo Announces $25 Million in Rail Infrastructure Improvements Statewide – February 1, 2017
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $25 million to fund rail and port improvement projects across New York. The grants, awarded through the Governor’s Passenger and Freight Rail Assistance Program, will support projects that strengthen infrastructure and economic development vital to the movement of goods throughout the state. The grants will leverage an additional $5.4 million in public and private investments to complete the projects.
“These grants will help strengthen New York’s infrastructure, attract new investments, and foster economic growth in communities in every corner of the state,” Governor Cuomo said. “A strong, reliable transportation system is critical to supporting safe, efficient travel for both New Yorkers and visitors, and our investments are key to ensuring the long-term resiliency of infrastructure across the state to support economic growth for generations to come.”
New York awarded $25 million to 19 applicants through a competitive solicitation process. These investments will support track rehabilitation, capacity expansion, railroad bridge repairs, and economic development opportunities. An additional $5.4 million in private and local funding is being leveraged through this State initiative.
New York State Department of Transportation Matthew J. Driscoll said, “Governor Cuomo knows the importance of transportation. Because of his leadership, New York continues to make smart investments that are modernizing rail and port infrastructure, encouraging commerce and making New York businesses more competitive in the global marketplace.”
The list of grant recipients and awards includes:
• SMS Rail Services, Inc., Albany County: $2.6 million to rehabilitate 14 miles of track and sidings.
• PanAm Southern, LLC, Rensselaer County: $2.5 million to reconfigure and expand tracks at Hoosick Junction.
Central New York
• Port of Oswego Authority, Oswego County: $2.1 million to construct additional rail tracks and expand cargo handling facilities.
• New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway Corp., Onondaga County: $1.6 million to install 4 miles of new rail line.
• Arcade & Attica Railroad Corp., Wyoming County: $1.3 million to rehabilitate a bridge and 6 miles of track to accommodate heavier rail cars.
• Ontario Midland Railroad Corp., Wayne County: $1.6 million to rehabilitate track to accommodate heavier rail cars.
• Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Railroad Corp., Livingston County: $1.1 million to rehabilitate yard tracks in Lakeville and Avon.• Falls Road Railroad Co., Inc., Monroe County: $1.1 million to expand a rail-to-truck facility and rehabilitate track between Lockport and Brockport.
• Middletown & New Jersey Railroad, LLC, Orange County: $900,000 to rehabilitate track and install Positive Train Control equipment on locomotives.
• Central New York Railroad Corp., Orange County: $630,000 to rehabilitate a bridge over the Delaware River.
• Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society, Otsego County: $120,000 to rehabilitate track between Cooperstown and Portlandville.
New York City
• New York New Jersey Rail, LLC, Kings County: $1.6 million to construct additional tracks within the 65th Street Yard.
• Consolidated Rail Corporation, Richmond County: $1.7 million to replace worn rail on the Travis Industrial Track.
• Mohawk Adirondack & Northern Railroad Corp., Oneida & Lewis County: $1.18 million to expand the rail-to-truck transload facility in Utica and rehabilitate the rail line to Lyons Falls.
• Adirondack Railway Preservation Society, Essex County: $1.5 million to rehabilitate passenger cars and locomotives for expanded excursion service.
• St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Authority, St. Lawrence County: $500,000 to reestablish rail access to Benson Mines.
• Owego and Harford Railway, Inc., Tioga County: $740,000 to rehabilitate Owego Yard.
Western New York
• Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany and Steuben South Tier Extension Railroad Authority, Cattaraugus County: $1.5 million to improve track and facilities in Olean Yard.
• Erie County Industrial Development Agency, Erie County: $360,000 to rehabilitate and improve rail access to Sumitomo Rubber USA facilities.
The Passenger and Freight Rail Assistance Program provides state investments that improve and enhance the movement of freight goods and support economic development statewide. Program funding supports track and bridge rehabilitation to improve reliability; track capacity expansion to alleviate bottlenecks; and the modernization and expansion of rail yards and port facilities.
Charles Schumer (D) def. Wendy Long (R)
CD1: Lee Zeldin (R) def. Anna Throne-Hoist (D)
CD2: Peter King (R) def. Du Wayne Gregory (D)
CD3: Thomas Suozzi (D) def. Jack Martins (R)
CD4: Kathleen Rice (D) def. David Gurfein (R)
CD5: Gregory Meeks (D) def. Michael O’Reilly (R)
CD6: Grace Meng (D) def. Danniel Maio (R)
CD7: Nydia Velazquez (D) def. Allan Romaguera (R)
CD8: Hakeem Jeffries (D) def. Daniel Cavanagh (C)
CD9: Yvette Clarke (D) def. Alan Bellone (C)
CD10: Jerrold Nadler (D) def. Philip Rosenthal (R)
CD11: Dan Donovan (R) def. Richard Reichard (D)
CD12: Carolyn Maloney (D) def. Robert Ardini (R)
CD13: Adriano Espaillat (D) def. Robert Evans Jr. (R)
CD14: Joseph Crowley (D) def. Frank Spotorno (R)
CD15: Jose Serrano (D) def. Alejandro Vega (R)
CD16: Eliot Engel (D) def. Derickson Lawrence (PCC)
CD17: Nita Lowey (D) won unopposed
CD18: Sean Patrick Maloney (D) def. Phil Oliva (R)
CD19: John Faso (R) def. Zephyr Teachout (D)
CD20: Paul Tonko (D) def. Joe Vitollo (R)
CD21: Elise Stefanik (R) def. Mike Derrick (D)
CD22: Claudia Tenney (R) def. Kim Myers (D)
CD23: Thomas Reed (R) def. John Plumb (D)
CD24: John Katko (R) def. Colleen Deacon (D)
CD25: Louise Slaughter (D) def. Mark Assini (R)
CD26: Brian Higgins (D) def. Shelley Schratz (R)
CD27: Chris Collins (R) def. Diana Kastenbaum (D)
• 31 Republican
• 25 Democrat
• 7 Independent Democratic Conference (IDC)
• Republican – John Flanagan
• IDC – Jeff Klein
• Democrat – Andrea Stewart-Cousins
SD1: Kenneth LaValle (R) def. Gregory-John Fischer (D)
SD2: John Flanagan (R) def. Peter Magistrate (D)
SD3: Tom Croci (R) def. John DeVito Jr. (D)
SD4: Philip Boyle (R) def. John Alberts
SD5: Carl Marcellino (R) def. James Gaughran (D)
SD6: Kemp Hannon (R) def. Ryan Cronin (D)
SD7: Elaine Phillips (R) def. Adam Haber (D)
SD8: John Brooks (D) def. Michael Venditto (R)
SD9: Todd Kaminsky (D) def. Christopher McGrath (R)
SD10: James Sanders (D) def. Adrienne Adams (WEP)
SD11: Tony Avella (IDC) def. Mark Cipolla (R)
SD12: Michael Gianaris (D) def. Marvin Jeffcoat (R)
SD13: Jose Peralta (D) def. Jesus Gonzalez (R)
SD14: Leroy Comrie (D) def. Jarret Freeman (R)
SD15: Joseph Addabbo (D) def. Michael Conigliaro (R)
SD16: Toby Ann Stavisky (D) def. Carlos Giron (R)
SD17: Simcha Felder (D,R) won unopposed
SD18: Martin Dilan (D) won unopposed
SD19: Roxanne Persaud (D) won unopposed
SD20: Jesse Hamilton (IDC) def. Menachem Raitport (R)
SD21: Kevin Parker (D) def. Brian Kelly (C)
SD22: Martin Golden (R) won unopposed
SD23: Diane Savino (IDC) won unopposed
SD24: Andrew Lanza (R) won unopposed
SD25: Velmanette Montgomery (D) def. Mamie Rose (R)
SD26: Daniel Squadron (D) won unopposed
SD27: Brad Hoylman (D) won unopposed
SD28: Liz Krueger (D) def. Zumbluskas (R)
SD29: Jose Serrano (D) def. Jose Colon (R)
SD30: Bill Perkins (D) def. Jon Girodes (R)
SD31: Marisol Alcantra (IDC) def. Melinda Crump (R)
SD32: Ruben Diaz Sr. (D) def. Oswald Denis (C)
SD33: Gustavo Rivera (D) def. Steven Stern (C)
SD34: Jeff Klein (IDC) def. Aleksander Mici (C)
SD35: Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) won unopposed
SD36: Jamaal Bailey (D) def. Robert Diamond (C)
SD37: George Latimer (D) def. Julia Killian (R)
SD38: David Carlucci (IDC) def. Thomas DePrisco (R)
SD39: Bill Larkin (R) def. Christopher Eachus (D)
SD40: Terrence Murphy (R) def. Alison Boak (D)
SD41: Sue Serino (R) def. Terry Gipson (D)
SD42: John Bonacic (R) def. Pramilla Malick (D)
SD43: Kathy Marchione (R) def. Shaun Francis (D)
SD44: Neil Breslin (D) def. Christopher Davis (R)
SD45: Betty Little (R) def. Stephen Matthew Ruzbacki (G)
SD46: George Amedore (R) def. Sara Niccoli (D)
SD47: Joseph Griffo (R) won unopposed
SD48: Patty Ritchie (R) won unopposed
SD49: James Tedisco (R) def. Chad Putman (D)
SD50: John DeFrancisco (R) won unopposed
SD51: James Seward (R) def. Jermaine Bagnall-Graham (D)
SD52: Fred Akshar (R) def. Sharon Ball (D)
SD53: David Valesky (IDC) won unopposed
SD54: Pamela Helming (R) def. Kenan Baldridge (D)
SD55: Rich Funke (R) won unopposed
SD56: Joseph Robach (R) def. Ann Lewis (D)
SD57: Cathy Young (R) def. Lee Hyson (D)
SD58: Tom O’Mara (R) def. Leslie Danks Burke (D)
SD59: Patrick Gallivan (R) def. Tom Casey (D)
SD60: Chris Jacobs (R) def. Amber Small (D)
SD61: Michael Ranzenhofer (R) def. Thomas Loughran (D)
SD62: Robert Ortt (R) won unopposed
SD63: Timothy Kennedy (D) won unopposed
• 107 Democrat
• 43 Republican
• Speaker Carl Heastie (D)
• Republican Minority Leader Brian Kolb
For individual election results, follow the link to the NYS Board of Elections at the following address – www.elections.ny.gov/2016ElectionResults.html
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $16.3 million to fund rail and port improvement projects across New York State. These grants, from the Governor’s Passenger and Freight Rail Assistance Program, will support projects that strengthen infrastructure vital to the movement of goods throughout the state, as well as support economic development by leveraging an additional $12.8 million in additional public and private investments.
“Continuing to invest in and strengthen our infrastructure is critical to New York State’s future economic prosperity,” Governor Cuomo said. “These grants will help modernize and rebuild our state’s aging rail infrastructure, which will not only support existing commercial activities, but attract new business investments as well.”
New York State awarded $16.3 million to twelve applicants, through a competitive solicitation process. These investments will support track rehabilitation, capacity expansion, railroad bridge repairs, and economic development opportunities. An additional $12.8 million in private and local funding is being leveraged through this State initiative.
New York State Department of Transportation Matthew J. Driscoll said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York continues to make smart, strategic investments in rail and port infrastructure to foster economic growth. Freight goods movement helps drive the economy and improvements at rail and port facilities across the state will strengthen our State’s overall competitiveness.”
The list of grant recipients and awards are:
•CSX Transportation, Albany County – $3.5 million to add 5.4 miles of signaled main track and sidings.
•Batten Kill Railroad Company, Inc., Washington County – $1.3 million to rehabilitate rail exiting line.
•Depew, Lancaster & Western Railroad Co. of Batavia, Genesee County – $930,120 to construct an extension to the existing warehouse.
•Livonia, Avon and Lakeville Railroad Corporation of Lakeville, Monroe County – $750,000 to replace the Genesee River railroad bridge.
•Mohawk, Adirondack and Northern Railroad Corp. of Batavia, Oneida County – $895,200 to upgrade and rehabilitate Rome Industrial Track.
New York City
•Long Island Rail Road, Queens County – $1.8 million to rehabilitate the 89th Avenue railroad bridge.
•Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority, St. Lawrence County – $1.1 million to rehabilitate the New York and Ogdensburg Railway Raquette River Bridge.
•New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway Corp., Broome County – $1.4 million for construction of a state of the art Rail Terminal in Binghamton.
•Tioga County Industrial Development Agency, Tioga County – $295,200 to expand the capacity of a rail-to-truck transload facility constructed at the Waverly Trade Center.
Western New York
•Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany and Steuben South Tier Extension Railroad Authority, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Counties – $1.6 million to install and repair five concrete bridge structures.
•Erie County Industrial Development Agency, Erie County – $2.0 million for completion of a tie replacement and ballast project to upgrade mainline track connecting businesses.
•New York & Lake Erie Railroad, Inc., Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Counties – $732,768 for rail line rehabilitation between South Dayton and Cherry Creek.
The Passenger and Freight Rail Assistance Program provides state investments improve and enhance the movement of freight goods and support economic development statewide. Program funding supports track and bridge rehabilitation to improve reliability; track capacity expansion to alleviate bottlenecks; and the modernization and expansion of rail yards and port facilities.
Today, RONY Executive Director Scott Wigger presented testimony to the Legislative Fiscal Committee Budget Hearing on Transportation at which he outlined the needs in the NYS freight rail network and how the state’s freight railroads are prepared to partner with New York State to upgrade and strengthen the state’s rail infrastructure. Included in the Governor’s 2016-17 Executive Budget proposal is a $10 million appropriation for freight rail infrastructure projects and a seperate $10 million appropriation for a mix of freight rail, passenger rail and port projects. RONY expressed its support for increasing these proposed appropriations to a total level of $50 million. RONY members and staff will now continue to work with the Governor’s Office and Legislature as the final 2016-17 NYS Budget is negotiated, which is due by April 1st. For a full copy of the testimony Mr. Wigger presented at this hearing, please visit our RONY News page by clicking on the News & Information link to the left.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that NYS has awarded $17.8 million in funding from the State’s Passenger and Freight Rail Assistance Program to 12 rail projects that will repair and replace 65 miles of track and ties, rehabilitate rail grade crossings and bridges, and construct new connections to improve safety and operations. The projects that received the funding were selected through a competitive solicitation process and rated on established criteria, including project eligibility, consistency with state rail plans, regional economic benefits and the ability to leverage additional investments.
Projects selected for funding awards are as follows:
North Country/Mohawk Valley
- Adirondack Railway Preservation Society of Utica, Oneida County, received $791,000 to construct a maintenance and repair facility in Utica for the Adirondack Scenic Railroad;
- Mohawk, Adirondack and Northern Railroad Corp. of Batavia, Genesee County, received $567,000 to repair culverts and bridges on the Lyons Falls and Rome Branch lines. Two rail crossings also will be rehabilitated.
- Middletown & New Jersey Railroad LLC of Kennett Square, Pa., received $1.9 million to rehabilitate railroad track in Orange County.
Central New York
- Syracuse, Binghamton and New York Railroad Corp. of Cooperstown, Otsego County, received $262,600 for rehabilitating the Renwick Avenue Bridge;
- New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad Co. of Cooperstown, Otsego County, received $2.3 million for improving rails, ties and surfacing.
Finger Lakes and Western New York
- Depew, Lancaster & Western Railroad Co. of Batavia, Genesee County, received $145,000 to extend the Batavia engine house to accommodate a second locomotive and add paving and security to the transload warehouse;
- Livonia, Avon and Lakeville Railroad Corporation of Lakeville, Livingston County, received $707,658 to replace the Spring Street railroad bridge in Avon, Livingston County;
- Falls Road Railroad Co. of Batavia, Genesee County, received $466,000 to repair culverts and bridges in Monroe, Orleans and Niagara counties;
- Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany and Steuben South Tier Extension Railroad Authority of Salamanca, Cattaraugus County, received $1.9 million to rehabilitate railroad track in Cattaraugus County;
- Norfolk Southern Railway of Norfolk, Va., received $3.3 million to construct new connections and double track to improve operations at the Bison Yard in Buffalo.
- Central New York Railroad of Cooperstown, Otsego County, received $3.1 million to rehabilitate railroad track in Delaware and Broome counties.
New York City
- Long Island Rail Road of Jamaica, Queens County, received $2.3 million to rehabilitate the Cypress Avenue railroad bridge.
RONY wishes to express its thanks to Governor Cuomo and the NYS Department of Transportation for these project awards that will greatly benefit the state’s rail network and economy as a whole.
In conjunction with the Association of American Railroads, the freight rail industry joined the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) in announcing a series of agreed-upon voluntary operating practices for moving crude oil by rail which includes the following measures:
- Increased track inspections
- Implementation of new emergency braking systems
- Use of rail traffic routing technology to aid in the determination of the safest and most secure rail routes
- Lower speeds when moving through urban areas
- Increased community relations
- Increased trackside safety technology
- Increased emergency response training and tuition assistance
- Railroad emergency response capability planning
In addition, railroads will continue to work with the Federal government and rail customers to address other key shared safety responsibilities, including Federal tank car standards and the proper shipper classification and labeling of crude oil moving by rail. For more information on this initiative, please visit www.aar.org.
RONY is pleased to announce that Atlantic Track has joined RONY as its newest Associate Member. Atlantic Track has over 75 years of experience in supplying new and relay rail, trackwork, OTM and railroad accessories. Atlantic is also a manufacturer of diamond crossings, RBM and spring frogs, compromise and transition rails, expansion joints and bridge joints. Other rail-related services Atlantic provides include restoration of used switch material for all types of railroad service, customized fiberglass grating systems and insulation, third rail for transit systems and inspection and track removal. For more information on Atlantic, you may contact John McDonald at email@example.com.
Today, RONY Executive Director Scott Wigger presented testimony to the Legislative Fiscal Committee Budget Hearing on Transportation at which he outlined the needs in the NYS freight rail network and how the state’s freight railroads are prepared to partner with New York State to upgrade and strengthen the state’s rail infrastructure. Included in the Governor’s 2014-15 Executive Budget proposal is a $10 million appropriation for freight rail infrastructure projects and a $25 million appropriation for a mix of rail, aviation and mass transit projects. RONY expressed its support for these proposed appropriations and stated its request to further expand the state’s freight rail infrastructure capital program that was reestablished in the 2013-14 NYS Budget. RONY members and staff will now continue to work with the Governor’s Office and Legislature as the final 2014-15 NYS Budget is negotiated, which is due by April 1st. For a full copy of the testimony Mr. Wigger presented at this hearing, please visit our RONY News page by clicking on the News & Information link to the left.