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Gov. Malloy Applauds Federal Railroad Administration’s Decision on Northeast Corridor, Urges Congress to Increase Funding for Rail

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today is commending the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) decision on the NEC Future program for responding to his consistent urging to focus on upgrading and maintaining the Northeast Corridor (NEC) in a “state of good repair” and postponing consideration of any new alignment of the tracks through Connecticut.

Since the initial release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement in November of 2015, Governor Malloy has consistently requested that the FRA focus recommendations on the future of the NEC to achieve a state of good repair and enhance the performance of the existing rail corridor, which is what the FRA’s decision released today achieves. Further, the decision does not include any specific “alternative alignments” in Connecticut and along the entire corridor. Rather, the FRA has identified areas for future capacity planning efforts to be initiated and led by the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island.

“The Federal Railroad Administration has developed a vision for the future of the Northeast Corridor and issued a decision that provides a path forward for expanding capacity and improving performance of the existing railroad,” Governor Malloy said. “They have responded directly to requests made by the State of Connecticut to enable significant and necessary investments to address an estimated $38 billion backlog in state-of-good-repair assets, and we thank them for their consideration of our concerns.”

Connecticut continues to make substantial investments in the Northeast Corridor. In the first annual report of the Northeast Corridor Commission, which details investments in the corridor during 2016, the state spent $367 million of the total $1.1 billion spent on the entire network from Boston to Washington, fully one-third of the total investment in this vital rail corridor.

Governor Malloy added, “Now that the decision is final, it is time for the federal government to step up and invest to bring the Northeast Corridor into a state of good repair, which is essential for the economy of the entire region.”

“Transportation improvements and funding are critical to economic growth, commerce, and quality of life for residents,” Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. “Governor Malloy has made our transportation network a priority from planning and funding to adding new equipment and expanding service. I applaud our federal partners on their decision and urge their continued investment in a system that benefits the entire northeast region.”

The NEC region is an economic powerhouse. It generates $3 trillion in annual economic output and is home to more than 51 million people and four of the ten largest metropolitan areas in the United States. The rail line is the backbone of the region, carrying over 820,000 passengers each day. Its infrastructure supports eight commuter rail operators that deliver hundreds of thousands of workers to several of our nation’s largest economic centers.

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