New U.S. Transportation Secretary Meets State Lawmakers About Rail Investments
In his first official visit to any state since his confirmation, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx visits Union Station in New Haven to talk about rail investment, safety and economic growth. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan has more.
“We are thinking about jobs, economic opportunity and safety. We’re putting people to work by fixing bridges and installing new high-level platforms. We’re revitalizing train stations. The time has come to put rail on par with our highways and other modes of transportation.”
Secretary Foxx says the federal government is committed to expanding inter-city rail capacity in Connecticut. He says federal and state investments in projects like the New Haven-Springfield corridor would add double track and help reduce trip times.
Governor Dannel Malloy.
“This coming Friday, we’ll be appropriating well in excess of $500 million additional, for transportation projects in the state of Connecticut. We’re putting more of our own skin in the game than any other state when it comes to investing in rail.”
Foxx’s visit comes on the heels of a Metro-North commuter train accident in Bridgeport this May, injuring more than 70 passengers.
Senator Richard Blumenthal on safety concerns.
“That derailment and collision was the result of defective track equipment. There were warning signs. Not only on that segment of track but really the entire set of track in the Northeast, which is aging, and where on that very same day, defects were found in other sections of the track by the same inspectors, none of them were corrected.”
Blumenthal says his recommendations would include additional investments in safety inspections, new technology, and warning and signaling systems.
For WNPR, I’m Sujata Srinivasan.