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September 18, 2019Cart

Business

by Fairfield County Business Journal
by FCBJ

Senators Blumenthal and Murphy seek extra $500M for rail repairs

Connecticut U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal have introduced an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2019 Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies appropriations bills that would allocate an additional $500 million to the Northeast Corridor (NEC) rail system.

The Senate appropriations bill for fiscal year 2019 provides $2.7 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration, which is $323 million below the fiscal year 2018 level but $1.76 billion above the budget request, while the House version of the bill allocates $3.2 billion in federal funds for rail infrastructure and safety programs. In announcing their amendment, the two Democratic senators stated the NEC has a repair backlog of more than $28 billion, and the loss of the NEC for one day created $100 million in travel delays and lost productivity.

“If we are serious about growing a 21st-century workforce, we cannot rely on 19th-century transportation,” said Blumenthal. “Real repairs and investments are needed now. This amendment would provide an important down payment toward what is ultimately needed to appropriately invest in our aging rail infrastructure.”

“Train service along the northeast corridor needs some serious help,” added Murphy. “I constantly hear from commuters who want faster, more reliable rail service.”