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High Speed Rail Proposed Between Rochester & Buffalo

(WXXI News & AP) There's talk about high speed rail again in Upstate New York, but this time in a more limited fashion.

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter has been a big proponent of improving passenger rail service in the upstate area for some time now, including trying to get state and federal funding to explore the possibility of high speed rail. 

But now she's talking about a shorter stretch of track for that kind of service, between Buffalo and Rochester, and the Fairport Democrat is working with Buffalo area Congressman Brian Higgins to try and accomplish that.

Slaughter says cutting the travel time between the two cities would allow people to commute more easily to take advantage of growing technology jobs, such as the SolarCity project in Buffalo and AIM Photonics in Rochester.

“There would be people who could move back and forth in half an hour on some high speed rail and the workforce could move from one place to the other depending on their skills without having to move from where they live,” Slaughter told WXXI News.

New York's upstate congressional delegates have pushed for years for a high-speed rail system linking the region's largest cities with New York City. Higgins says refocusing the effort on the 70-mile stretch between upstate New York's two largest cities would be far less costly. 

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.