WASHINGTON, DC – Rhode Island’s congressional delegation today announced that the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will receive $1.2 million to begin preliminary work on track upgrades and to build a second station platform at Kingston, RI, which will improve service reliability. The project will help allow Amtrak’s high-speed rail service to run alongside intercity rail and potentially expanded commuter rail service to Kingston.
“This funding will help realize the vision of true high speed rail system in the Northeast – a vision first articulated by Senator Claiborne Pell. At the same time, it anticipates the need to provide more efficient transportation options to the people of Rhode Island,” said Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Representatives Patrick Kennedy and Jim Langevin in a joint statement.
In a letter sent last year to Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Reed and Whitehouse supported this investment in our railways: “Rail investment will promote economic development and livable communities across New England, while reducing highway and airway congestion and promoting energy efficiency,” the senators wrote. “We urge the Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration to prioritize funding for New England passenger rail projects and look forward to working with you to continue this critical investment in our nation’s transportation and economic future.”
The funding is provided by the Recovery Act, which was supported by the entire Congressional delegation.