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NY to Get $151m in Fed Grant for Rail Improvements

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New York is getting 151 million dollars as part of a package of high-speed rail grants President Obama is unveiling today. But New Yorkers shouldn't expect bullet trains anytime soon. WNYC's Andrea Bernstein explains.

REPORTER: California is getting 2 billion dollars, Florida well over 1 billion, and two midwest lines nearly 1 billion dollars each. But those states had highly developed high-speed rail plans. Florida already owns the right-of-way from Orlando to Tampa, where President Obama is announcing an 85-mile segment that will whiz passengers to Disney World in five years' time. California voters allotted 9 billion for high-speed rail and planning is already underway in the golden state.

But New York's high-speed rail dreams have been, until now, largely just that - dreams. Rail experts say the 151 million allotted to the state will noticeably improve reliability and shorten trips from New York City to Albany and points north. They say, now that planning is underway, New York could be in line for bullet trains in future allocations.

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