Rep. Maloney hails delivery of job-creating federal transit funding for NY

Aug 22, 2011
Press Release

New York, NY – U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Queens, Manhattan) hailed the delivery today of a $295 million federal high-speed rail grant to improve “Harold Interlocking,” a junction point in Sunnyside Yards through which trains from three major transit systems must pass on their way into and out of New York.  The grant will help the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) relieve major delays at Harold Interlocking that have plagued New York travelers for years, and pave the way for high-speed rail from New York to Boston.  Construction on the project is set to begin in September 2012.

The funding is part of $2 billion in high-speed rail grants announced by the federal government in May.  Governor Andrew Cuomo and the MTA applied for the grant in April after the governor of Florida rejected high-speed rail funding for his state.  The Harold Interlocking junction is located in Maloney’s Congressional district and the Congresswoman has been a strong supporter of the grant.  

In May, Maloney released a report on the economic benefits of the grant for Harold Interlocking.   Maloney’s report found that the grant will create 9,213 jobs over the five-year life of the project; boost economic activity in our region by $585.9 million; and pave the way for high-speed rail along the Northeast Corridor, which will create roughly 44,000 jobs and $33 billion in wages annually over the project’s 25-year construction cycle.  Please click here for a full copy of Maloney’s report.

“I’m delighted that $295 million in federal high-speed rail funding is making an on-time arrival to the MTA.  This project will relieve one of the worst choke points in our entire transit system, pave the way for high-speed rail, create 9,200 jobs, and boost the economy by more than a half-billion dollars,” Maloney said.  “I look forward to working with the MTA to ensure that this vital project in my district is completed on time and on budget.”

Harold Interlocking is the busiest passenger rail junction in North America, with 783 trains moving through the interlocking each day from three different transit systems: the Long Island Railroad, Amtrak, and New Jersey Transit.  Because of the way Harold Interlocking is currently constructed, conflicts among the three rail lines are frequent, resulting in constant delays and disruptions at Pennsylvania Station and on the Northeast Corridor.  The funding will allow the MTA to construct a bypass that would provide Amtrak with conflict-free access to Harold Interlocking, reducing delays for trains to and from Boston and paving the way for high-speed rail in the Northeast Corridor.