Assemblywoman Russell: Rail Plan Must Extend to the North Country

March 9, 2009

Governor Patersonís 2009 New York State Rail Plan is a critical and essential move forward to modernize the Stateís transportation system. Targeting our railroad infrastructure with a long-range plan for improvement and expansion of both passenger and freight rail systems is a spark we need to trigger economic action. Efficient and reliable transportation are key factors for attracting business development.

In the not too distant past, passenger railroad service extended well into Northern New York. Revitalizing these northern passenger lines will open up new economic development opportunities for Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties. The Rail Plan must include plans for expansion into New York Stateís North Country as well. Further, a north-south segment from Binghamton to Watertown should be part of the comprehensive analysis.

I applaud the Governorís leadership will advocate for the 2009 Rail Plan to extend development beyond the east-west I-90 corridor in central New York to the north-south I-81 corridor to Watertown as well.