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Amtrak to lease lines from CSX

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RENSSELAER — The lease agreement that CSX Transportation and Amtrak reached gives Amtrak control over an 85-mile stretch of CSX-owned track stretching from Poughkeepsie to just west of Schenectady, with the right to set speed limits and make other decisions on operations.


The federal Surface Transportation Board is currently reviewing the agreement, with a request from the parties that it declare it doesn't have regulatory authority in the matter.


The parties have requested that the STB reach a decision by Oct. 15 so that the deal can be completed by Nov. 5. The agreement was first announced last October.


According to the lease filed with regulators, Amtrak will pay CSX $7 million annually in five-year installments, to be offset by Amtrak or public investments in the track, signals or other infrastructure.


Meanwhile, CSX will pay Amtrak $1.5 million a year for use of the track by its freight trains, plus additional fees based on the number of freight cars and other usage by CSX.


The agreement covers a 25-year period with an option to extend it another 23 years.


The agreement opens the way for up to $200 million in improvements that include a second track between Albany and Schenectady, a fourth track at the Rensselaer station, and improvements in signals and other infrastructure.


In Schenectady, the Capital District Transportation Authority and the Metroplex Development Authority can move ahead with plans for a new downtown rail station.


CSX still maintains the exclusive right to operate freight service over the line.


Source: http://www.timesunion.com/business/article/Amtrak-to-lease-lines-from-CSX-3875639.php#ixzz26wSjNhNw


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Question is that section of railroad 110mph? If not its going to be. I think this is a good move by Amtrak being that the Albany to New York line carries a good share of passengers.

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