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Amtrak to take over new tracks in Albany area

The Northeast rail corridor will see shorter travel times and be more reliable. Through a new 25-year lease, Amtrak has taken control of a busy stretch of track leading to the capital region.

Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation, Joan McDonald, says rail travel is about to make a change for the better in upstate New York.

"The state has partnered with Amtrak and CSX on a historic agreement to turn over 94 miles of CSX territory to Amtrak on the Hudson line, from Poughkeepsie to Schenectady," said McDonald. "And that partnership between the three entities is so critically important."

The new lease will allow tracks, platforms and signals to be upgraded, and additional tracks will help to eliminate bottlenecks that delay passenger trains as they wait for oncoming traffic to clear.

Amtrak currently runs 26 trains per day on the line, and its own performance statistics show the majority delays occur on the CSX stretch of track.

More than $180 million in public funding has been earmarked for the overhaul, but passengers might not see results in some areas until 2017.

WXXI/Finger Lakes Reporter for the Innovation Trail