Politicians have talked of high speed rail across New York for decades, as Europe and Asia built speedy and efficient systems. Studies have been conducted, including one by former Governor David Paterson in 2010, and then abandoned.
Now, Governor Cuomo says he wants to try again, and will convene a group of private sector engineers to “reexamine past high-speed rail plans”, and rethink some of the assumptions made in those proposals to try to find a better way to actually achieve high-speed rail in New York.
Cuomo says he wants to borrow the model used to repair the L-Train tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan, where a panel of non-governmental experts found a faster way to fix the tunnel and avoided a long term shutdown of the tracks.
Cuomo says most of the State's population lives a short distance from existing train tracks, which connect the State through New York City, Albany, and Buffalo. But he says the lines average a speed of 51 miles per hour, meaning it is often the slowest method available for New Yorkers to travel.
Cuomo does not say how much a conversion to high speed rail might cost. A study completed in 2014, found the price tag could be as high as over $14 billion dollars, if a new track were built.