U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced the obligation of over $20 million in federal Department of Transportation (DOT) emergency relief funding for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Metro-North Railroad Power and Signal Resiliency Improvements project. The federal grant will support the design and construction of 92 elevated steel equipment platforms at various locations along the Metro-North’s Hudson Line to house critical power and signal equipment. The funding is being obligated through the Federal Transportation Administration’s (FTA) Public Transportation Emergency Relief program, as part of the Sandy-Relief bill. Specifically, this project was selected on a competitive basis from the Hurricane Sandy Resiliency Competition.
“Superstorm Sandy walloped our tracks, electrical systems, rail equipment and more and this federal funding will help make our transit system more resilient without leaving local commuters on the hook for these expenses,” said Senator Schumer. “This massive federal investment means that Hudson River line riders can rest assured that their rail system will be stronger and more resilient in the event of a future storm.”
“This critical federal funding will help provide much needed resources to facilitate upgrades on the Hudson Line,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Superstorm Sandy devastated our communities and these funds will help rebuild our transportation infrastructure even stronger and more resilient so that the New Yorkers who rely on Metro North to get to work every day can have the peace of mind knowing we are better prepared for when the next storm hits.”
The Metro-North Hudson Line runs between New York City’s Grand Central Terminal and Poughkeepsie. According to the MTA, approximately 26,000 people use the Hudson Line on an average weekday.
Sections of the MTA’s Metro-North Railroad suffered damage from Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Specifically, the Hudson River washed over the tracks in some locations and flooded stations and parking lots. According to the MTA, the wind snapped trees which blocked tracks system wide and crushed third rail that powers trains on the Hudson and Harlem lines. Also, salt water destroyed many electric components of the signal system.
The Metro-North Railroad Power and Signal Resiliency Improvements project aims to prevent future storm damage along the Hudson Line. The federal grant will help raise critical equipment, including: the third rail sectionalizing switches, snow melter cases, signal power transformers, remote terminal houses, communications pedestals and negative return reactors.
Specifically, $20,797,500 is being provided by the FTA. Local match will be provided through the MTA Capital Plan Amendment 2010-2014 in the amount of $6,932,500.