State Senate President Malcolm Smith along with other local, state and federal officials will participate in the historic High Speed Rail conference of leading international experts who will discuss ways to bring the speedy passenger train to America. Expected guests include U.S. Secretary of Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, Deputy Administrator- Federal Railroad Administrator, Karen Rae, Governor David Paterson, Governor Elect Andrew Cuomo, Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell, US Congresswoman Louise Slaughter and US Congressman John Mica.
Leading transportation experts from around the U.S. and the world will converge on Manhattan from November 14-16 to discuss the benefits of bringing High Speed Rail to America. As part of the discussion, political and business leaders will explain how the massive passenger rail system can be developed in American with the Northeast corridor of Boston, New York and Washington D.C., one of the major passenger routes under consideration.
The focus of the conference is on: winning federal funding for high speed and intercity passenger rail funding, learning how New York State manufacturers and suppliers can partner and promote the high speed rail movement to create jobs and stimulate the economy.
Participants will be networking to set up coalitions and consortiums to get involved in the multiple-billion dollar rail projects throughout the country. To date, $8 billion has been awarded to launch the national High Speed Rail initiative under the leadership of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Smith said, “High speed rail will redefine our statewide economy and open Upstate markets to consumers across the country. The jobs and business investments that come with a 21st Century transit system will make every community competitive in today’s global economy. Bringing together industry specialists, economic development experts, business leaders, legislative representatives and state and city rail officials to collaborate efforts is a vital component in achieving our long-term goals for high speed rail. I look forward to continuing to work together and keeping the economic revitalization of New York State on track.”
The Obama administration has identified a national high speed rail passenger system as one of its priorities. National Transportation experts have said that developing a High Speed Rail system connecting the Northeast corridor of Boston, Washington and New York would also help alleviate crowded airways.
Current estimates indicate that traveling on a High Speed Rail passenger train from New York City to Albany could take as little as 45 minutes. The current trip is about three hours by car.