WASHINGTON, DC- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today expressed his support for a grant application submitted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for federal funds to study the possible expansion of rail service between Ohio and New York State through Erie. Senator Casey has emphasized the importance of this rail project to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood throughout the past year.
“By expanding rail service along the Lake Erie Corridor, we can bolster the Commonwealth’s rail capacity, reduce congestion and decrease emissions,” said Senator Casey. “I encourage the federal government to consider Pennsylvania’s application for funding for the Lake Erie Corridor study.”
The Lake Erie Corridor Investment Plan would examine potential infrastructure improvements to allow for fast, reliable passenger rail transportation. A Service Development Plan and environmental planning will help determine the feasibility of expanding the service. In addition, a cost/benefit analysis will be performed, serving as the basis for a potential cooperative agreement among the states and local officials in identifying funding for the improvements.
This corridor, which connects Erie with Cleveland, Ohio, and Buffalo, N.Y., is now served by Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited service, which provides one train in each direction each day between Chicago, New York City and Boston.
In March, the Federal Railroad Administration announced the availability of $115 million for high-speed rail projects, $50 million for planning and $65 million for construction projects. The funding is part of President Obama’s commitment to invest in efficient, high-speed passenger rail to address the nation’s transportation challenges.