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March 4, 2009 - 7:57am

Buffalo to Albany rail line getting Obama Administration attention

posted by Howard B. Owens in passenger rail, transportation.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is cited in the Buffalo News as saying the Obama Administration will give serious consideration to construction of a high-speed rail line connecting Buffalo and Albany.

The project could be part of an $8 billion stimulus bill set-aside to modernize passenger rail systems.

“This is a very bipartisan effort that includes a project that represents 60 percent of the state,” LaHood said after a meeting with the state’s upstate congressional delegation. “This part of the state is hurting, and obviously this would be an economic engine, and we obviously will take all of that into consideration.”

...

Several members of the upstate caucus attended the meeting, including two Republicans: Rep. Chris Lee, R-Clarence, and Rep. John McHugh, R-Watertown.

“We are getting nice bipartisan support here, and the secretary seems to be on board with it,” Lee said.

What Batavians need to be concerned about is whether Batavia is a stop along the route.

Patrick D. Burk
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Didn't Representative Lee vote AGAINST the Stimulus? Now he is trying to attach his name to something that he voted AGAINST! Typical. Give me the courage of Louise Slaughter anyday. She fights for our area even though her gerrymandered district practically wraps around us. We lost a GREAT Congresswoman when we lost her. Why doesn't Lee just fess up and tell us he did what his bosses wanted him to do and did not even think about what could come our way with the Stimulus Package. Let's all email him and support the idea we want a rail station in Batavia. That could be crucial to our area's economy. This is an important item that could be vital in reviving our area and if we played our cards right the station could be built in the Harvester industrial corridor... that would be fantastic.
Beth Kinsley
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I would ride it to work every day. I pay $85 a month just to park downtown (Rochester) not to mention the gas and wear and tear on my car.
Peter O'Brien
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What good it a train that takes you from Albany to Rochester a little faster? Answer, its not. There is no reason to build this thing because there is nothing to see in NY. There is no way this stimulates anything. Do you consider the Thruway a stimulus tool? Your anecdotal stories of paying $85 a month for parking doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme. Who says the train is going to be close enough to your building to allow you to walk. Instead of oyu $85 for parking, you will need to find a way to the station from where you live then from the station in Roc to your building and pay the fees for public transportation, meanwhile your kids will be paying for that train until they have kids.
Howard B. Owens
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I don't see anything inconsistent in Lee voting against the stimulus package and then trying to get for his district whatever he believes he can/should get. The money is going to be spent, and probably to the long-term detriment to all taxpayers, but I'd rather see the money spent in WNY than Texas. I sent an e-mail to Lee's office this morning asking for further comment. We'll see what he says.
Andrew Erbell
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Who wouldn't want to ride a train from Batavia to Rochester and stroll around the low hundreds blocks of Central Avenue and vicinity. It's a veritable paradise of arts and culture. (Yes, I am being sarcastic.)
Howard B. Owens
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San Diego's trolley system has been a big part of Downtown's resurgence. When I was a kid, downtown San Diego made downtown Rochester look like Paris.
Peter O'Brien
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Are there things worth doing in downtown San Diego? how's the weather?
Beth Kinsley
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Even if I had to take a bus from the station to work, the cost wouldn't be nearly as much as what I pay for parking and gas every month.
Richard Gahagan
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Texas don't need no socialist pork spending train dang gummit. But, if they do build the NY train to no where, Hop right on that pork train and get outta there so the feds quit throwing our money in the toilet.
Andrew Erbell
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Haha, I forgot about the weather. Yes, that makes this even more pleasant. Walking in the street to and from the station to your ultimate destination in downtown Rochester (think Batavia sidewalks in the winter, only worse) in January or February. Nice! There certainly are many parts of Rochester, even downtown, that are worth strolling around, but this area isn't one of them.
Daniel Jones
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Jobs, jobs, jobs.
Peter O'Brien
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What a couple hundred jobs maybe? For the entire state who has millions of citizens? The construction jobs are temporary. We need Careers created, not jobs.
Daniel Jones
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They are going to have to construct this track from Albany to Buffalo, it's going to entail numerous positions for the time of construction. There will also be people needed to build stations, maintain them and maintain the trains as well. It's a major bonus in my mind. I would predict that many more than just a few hundred jobs would be created.
Howard B. Owens
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The weather in San Diego is highly overrated ... at least it's not worth the high prices, the crime, the crowds, the graffiti, etc. I don't miss San Diego at all.
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Andrew and Peter, You've made your dissatisfaction with this subject known. Without resorting to the repeatedly disproven myth of tax cuts, I'd like to hear your solutions. Not vague, tired rehashes of the sort that contributed to this disaster, but new, creative ideas.
Andrew Erbell
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I'm not against a high speed rail service per say. In fact, since I have a child going to RPI I would probably use it (although it's unlikely in reality since I'm sure he will graduate long before ground is broken on a project such as this). I was merely pointing out the facts associated with the location of the current railroad station in downtown Rochester. We have used Amtrak a few times over the years and I would not under any circumstances recommend spending much time in the general vicinity of it during the daylight, let alone at night. As far as solutions to the overall economic problems I can only tell you what works in business and the LAST thing you want to do when you're in debt is borrow LOTS MORE MONEY. The rosey figures the President wants to use to try explaining paying this monstrousity off already are off because the actual February indicator numbers are out now and they're less than what he predicted they'd be. Plus, now the banks need even more bailout money. The inevitable outcome of all this is going to be really really bad.
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I am still leary of the fast ferry deal for rochester and the stuff with bass pro for buffalo. I understand that to get the money you have to spend it how it is allocated By uncle sam. Does anyone know what the plans are for a train ? Some of batavia's tracks are still being used. What about Amtrack or Private companies ? A fast train would go Albany, Buffalo, Rochester. We would be a pass thru. Nice scenery though. If its the only way genesee county can get the money being allocated then i say harvester ave deal 180 days shovel ready ! Make sure you hire people who are from GENESEE COUNTY first. I can supply my own shovel and i am ready !
Andrew Erbell
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I'd be inclined to think Syracuse would probably be a stop but have to agree about Batavia. The more stops the "fast" train makes, the "slower" it will go. An Amtrak station would be a compromise perhaps. Also, I've been at the crossing in downtown Bergen when the Amtrak passes Route 19 and that thing is moving. I can't imagine what this will be like screaming past there.
Peter O'Brien
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Not a tax cut but a new tax system. http://www.fairtax.org The fair tax would be one way to surge the economy. Also a world war would be helpful, it got us out of the Great Depression. I know you think I am a war monger now but there are good sides ot war. New Technology is developed along with streamlining manufacturing processes. Radar is a result of war time engineering. Without it today's air traffic system would not be possible. War also led to the creation of rockets and the exploration of space which has yielded literally hundreds of new inventions and innovations that you use in every day life. Man is always at his best when what he cares about most is on the line. For me that is freedom. Which is why I will fight Obama and his socialist ideas at every turn. For most that is their family. Just look at how united this country was in the wake of September 11th and December 7th. Both times the country united against an enemy that struck fear into us. We rallied and defeated them. I think another tragedy has to occur on American soil for us to recover from this in any type of short order. Lets just hope the freedoms we love are not removed by Obama and his cronies before then.
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So your're committed to fight our new Commander-in-Chief "at every turn". Does that bitter statement sound treasonous to any of you, my fellow citizens?. That last reference to "Obama & his cronies" is truly a bitter cheap shot. We all know where 8 years of George Bush & his failed poicies have led us. Let us all respect the decision of the voters of the United States of America to elect President Obama & keep him in our prayers.
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There are a lot of us that believe the voters made a huge mistake, and so far it looks like we are right. Bush sucked, there is no question there. But at this point I think we would be better off with him than what we have. I am not one that wants to see Obama - the person - fail, but I do want to see the things he is doing fail. At this point we are seeing him spending so much money that inflation is going to make the dollar worth nothing, expanding war when he claimed he was going to cut it down and flat out using scare tactics to make the people follow his poor decisions. At least Bush only somewhat hurt the economy and spent his time taking over other countries. Some of us feel like Obama is trying to kill our economy and trying to take over our country. We all have our own opinions on politics but if things keep going like they are, there are going to be a lot of people that don't agree with my views coming to my side. And I'm not saying McCain would have been better because I don't know if he would have been. We need to change our views on politics and eliminate the current way we do things. Bush and Obama are just the people on TV giving us the policies that they are doing because they have loyalties to those that got them elected.
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Hilly, Bush did destroy our economy. There is nothing really left, it just hasn't hit home for everyone yet. The trickle down is coming for the rest of us real soon. It has already come for you and The Batavian. It's coming for me as well, the first rounds of cuts at work took our raises and retirement match away. Job losses are not far behind. Do not worry, the CEO's will still get their millions. Obama has been in office less than two months and "WE" are in a heap of trouble. If Obama fails? This isn't his failure, this is our failure for voting for an idiot like Bush twice and listening to nuts like Rush. At this point Obama is just trying to keep us out of soup lines.
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I'm pretty close the the soup line right now as it is. I do agree with you on Bush Charlie and I was one of the few in my circle that didn't vote for him the second time. I think we are heading in a very scary direction by adding government in a time in which we need less. The idea of our government spending trillions of dollars is beyond crazy to me. Where is this money coming from? It is basically being printed and making the money we have worth even less, which is not going to solve anything. Inflation is a bad thing and I think we are going to be seeing the most rapid and large decrease in the value of our money ever. Bush had to deal with 9/11 and that has a lot to do with most of the mistakes he made. He unfortunately had that happen early on and didn't make the correct decisions in the aftermath. The system has not been the problem. It is the people that we are electing that is the problem.
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You have to wonder how much the 10 cent added gas tax is going to hurt. With business on the ropes and people being laid off, Obama wants to take more money from them and make gas more expensive. I am sure there are lofty reasons for this idea, but I think this is going to really hurt since the gas tax business pay will just be passed on to us, taking even more money from us. Saying the courts can now rewrite mortgages is scary. Sure, right now there are people losing their homes and this sounds good, and could work for a short time for some people and banks. But, this law has no sunset clause. When the housing crises ends and it always does, how willing will banks be to lend when they know a judge and lawyer can rewrite the loan on them? Banks are going to charge higher interest rates to protect themselves, making harder to get loans. And now, our own Senator, Charles Schumer, who said that he, wants the government to go back and see if past business profits were too much and tax it, after it was earned by the current rules and this may become standard policy. How do you get business to invest when Schumer says that after they play by the rules and thought they made money, somebody might say the rules changed again and we want it your profit back? This could easily result in more companies moving their business out of the US. David, I agree with you on what you want us to say about Obama, but nobody did that for Bush on the other side, did they? They used "Bush and his cronies" all the time. Same rules for both sides?
Charlie Mallow
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Hilly, hoping for failure isn't the other option. That's all the Republicans are giving us right now. They are going to fade away without coming up with another real choice fast. I think the time for using politics to solve this problem is long gone, I'm begining to think more like Howard everyday.
Brian Hillabush
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Charlie, he's brainwashing people using subliminal messages on the site.
Charlie Mallow
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Now that you say it, I have had blurry vision as of late. I thought it was my cheap WalMart glasses. :-)
John Roach
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You need the sales tax Wal Mart brings to our city, so don't bash them.
Brian Hillabush
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Check this kid out. He is a more intelligent version of me at the age of 14. He could replace Rush as our leader :)
Howard B. Owens
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I don't see how anybody can say voters made a mistake when it was the Republicans who nominated John McCain, a man without any real convictions, so desperate to win that he picked as a running mate an airhead whose only appeal was she could rally social conservatives (who hated McCain most of his career). Voters recognized McCain as the career-long consummate insider at a time when that was the last thing voters wanted. If Rush and Republicans don't like Obama, they have nobody to blame but themselves. Furthermore, Republicans hardly have a leg to stand on when it comes to complaining about wasteful, big-spending stimulus plans. It was Bush who put forward the no-strings attached $700 billion bailout, which in the end most Republicans voted for, even attaching their own pork along the way. And you can't blame just Bush for eight years of running up debts, increasing the size and scope of government, over extending our military -- House and Senate Republicans went right along with Bush on all of his policies, nary a peep of complaint. Yes, there is much to worry about in Obama's plans (John raises some good points). Printing lots of money, running up deficits, increasing the size and scope of government -- these things have consequences, but we rarely hear about the potential negative impacts from the media. And why should we? Just about every newspaper in the country is in danger of going out of business within the next year or two, so journalists are desperate to see something work, and being more of a progressive bent rather than libertarian, reporters and editors naturally look to the government for solutions. My main reason for hope is the American people. Most of us are hard working and ambitious. We're proven masters at overcoming adversity. I think we can and will turn things around.
Gabor Deutsch
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I thought this was about a train or something.
Brian Hillabush
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Howard, we can turn things around but will it be too late? Think about a $10 gallon of milk, paying nearly double for gas with nobody realistically trying to fix the energy problem and so many people losing everything that we become a country that becomes reliant on social programs. That is what could very well happen by throwing this much money out there. Obama is treating the country like a spoiled rich kid by buying him a new bike because he is getting bad grades, hoping that the bike will make his want for better grades to grow.
Gabor Deutsch
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When you have a democracy fueled by capitalism and it fails you have to counter act to what went wrong. When things were working everyone was happy with wall St and complained about the government. When things took a turn for the worst on wall St everyone is complaining and are complaining about the government. You cant make dramatic changes or fix things without a bunch of people resisting.
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Howard, I agree with everything you said about picking McCain, but a point. Rush was anti McCain for years and as far as I know, still is. He said the same things about McCain you just said. He was a big mistake and I bet they know it now. Obama is just Bush on steroids.
Brian Hillabush
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The Republicans knew that they could have Jesus Christ on top of the ticket and were going to lose after Bush. That's why they picked McCain, who is basically a Democrat. I like that Obama being Bush on steroids, John. I would go with Hitler on prozac.
Daniel Jones
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Hilly-Hitler comparisons are immoral, regardless of who their against.
Daniel Jones
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Obama is cleaning up the mess left by years of government mismanagement and bumbling inaction that was supported by the same people that are currently serving as the "heroes" of the conservative movement. We could go back and forth all day about the stimulus bill, but it's a done deal now, and as part of that plan Western New York could make off well with a high speed rail line, infrastructure investments and real tax cuts for average people. We're in a better position now than we were in before.
Brian Hillabush
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Ha ha. Daniel, I made that comment to get you guys fired up. I'm going to say that Hitler was worse than Obama will be.
John Roach
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Dan, I would fee better if Obama could find any credible people to work at the Treasury other than a guy who didn’t pay his taxes until it went public. It’s disturbing that one credible person after another is turning him down.
Daniel Jones
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John-Geitner was picked because of his hands on experience with Wall Street, give the agenda some time to start working.
Daniel Jones
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Hilly-Adolf Hitler was a twisted and sociopathic dictator who engaged in the killing of millions of innocent people in an attempt to attain personal power and racial superiority. Sorry if it doesn't hit my funny bone, but comparing anyone to Hitler just doesn't make me smile.
John Roach
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Dan, It's Wall Street that has no faith in him. He talks, the market drops.
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Made me chuckle when I thought of it. Not to be mean or say anything to offend, but I made a joke. And for the record, I said Hitler on prozac. That would probably have been a lot less evil Hitler because he wouldn't be able to get up for those speeches. I also like potty humor and own every Andrew Dice Clay CD, so I'll be the first to admit my jokes are often funny to me and not many others. Feel free to call Palin an idiot or compare Bill O'Reilly to anybody you want. I'll be okay with it.
Daniel Jones
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John-I agree, he needs to be a better communicator, or have an under-secretary be the point man with the press. Brian-I'm all for satire and humor, I find that part of the essence of American politics is our ability to make fun of our leaders, including Obama. However, I do think that comparing anyone to Adolf Hitler is over the top. Just my opinion though.
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I have to say that When hitler first started out he ran with the socialist crowd and a type of union platform. Even though he went unemployed most of his life. Then he went all mr. hyde. But I hate to admit the politics STARTED out the same as far as socialism. I didnt vote for Obama but I didnt have much faith in McCain either. I only voted for Bush coz Kerry was worse of two evils. I believe that only if Jesus Christ was president, this mess and most peoples approval would be positive. It still wouldnt improve our current economic crisis though. I do think that Geitner is right in theory but so was every other past economic advisor. You know the mathmaticians forgot to carry a one on the A bombs full potential ? As far as dice man: "Mary,Mary, quite contrary....."OH!
Brian Hillabush
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Sorry Daniel. Sometimes I offend when I'm making myself laugh. I am very anti-Hitler and hope people don't think I'm serious with that comment. I still think the idea of Hitler on prozac is pretty funny. And I know I've not posted a ton of political stuff on here, because I was sticking to sports, but now that I am you guys are going to see how far to the right I am. I'm sure it won't help my popularity on this site, but I'm always going to be myself. I think it will be fun to get into the ring with some of you liberals.
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Ahh Gabor, another Dice fan. Glad to have one onboard. You must download the Filth collection ... great stuff there. And Ford Fairlane might be one of the best movies ever made.
Gabor Deutsch
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I think the Dice Man's poetic lyrycs will always be in my thoughts. (like he brainwashed me) I own the movie but enjoyed seeing him on the Apprentice show. I would vote for him in any election.
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I watched Apprentice too and I thought he was trying too hard. Ever since the world became so PC he's been fighting the Dice/anti-Dice persona. His best work was early in his career when he didn't care and said the most offensive things possible. I would give anything to see him go back on tour and do a show around here. Oh and Face Down [email protected]@ Up was a great album. He did a song with Snoop. What is better than Dice and Snoop together?
Gabor Deutsch
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Obviously u r not in a serious relationship with a female. I mean no disespect but I can only enjoy that type of comedy without "ma-lady" being against it, Yes, I can enjoy now coz I am old and single. Hear dat ladies ?

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