July 14, 2010

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Key Senate Panel Approves $7,600,000 For Fort Drum Railroad Project

Federal Funds Will Create Jobs, Help Improve Safety And Efficiency For Military

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that today the Senate Appropriations Committee, Military Construction Subcommittee approved $7,600,000 to support necessary upgrades to Fort Drum’s railroad system. This project will enhance safety and operational efficiency during deployment operations. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand aggressively lobbied members of the Appropriations Committee to include funding for the project in this year’s spending bill

“Fort Drum not only provides vital support and training to our troops overseas, it is home to the 10th Mountain Division and an economic engine for the entire North Country,” said Schumer.  “These millions of dollars will help keep the base up to date, support our soldiers and provide an economic shot in the arm for the region.”

“These critical federal dollars will help to upgrade our military facilities while creating good-paying jobs right here in New York,” said Senator Gillibrand.  “Creating jobs in New York is my number one priority.  This funding will strengthen our economic revitalization efforts and ensure our men and women in uniform have the very best facilities and opportunities.  They and their families have sacrificed for all of us and owe them for their incredible service.”

The existing railroad infrastructure is 60 years old and even though the entire rail system had some renovation in 1994, the current railroad system has not been upgraded to current/projected operational standards required for mobilization and the objective force mission

Snow removal is inadequate since the area is only gravel covered. The existing railhead loading area will not be able to support the increase in mobilizing units and the objective force mission.

This project will enhance Fort Drum's Power Projection Platform capabilities, improving both safety and operational efficiency during deployment operations. These will also expand the existing railroad infrastructure with a new railhead loading ramp, railhead loading tracks, and a paved container side loading area in the existing railroad yard adjacent to the New York Guard Compound in the 6000 Area.

Now that the bill has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, it will be sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Following approval by the Full Committee and the Senate, the bill will move towards Conference with the House and then to the President for signature.