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Finger Lakes Railway receives $3.9M grant for key track upgrades

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Finger Lakes Railway, which owns the rail section known as the Himrod Line running from Penn Yan to Watkins Glen, has been awarded a grant of nearly $3.9 million to fund track improvements.

This financial boost comes decades after the railway acquired this section from Consolidated Rail Corp. (Conrail) in a notably deteriorated state.

Over time, the railway has made incremental repairs, primarily to serve local businesses, including salt companies.

With this grant, sourced from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and part of a $23 million pool dedicated to enhancing short-line railroads in upstate New York, the railway can further improve and modernize the track.

This funding announcement was championed by U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both Democrats from New York.

The senators highlighted the importance of short-line railroads for the upstate region, emphasizing their crucial role in connecting various communities and supporting freight rail activity. The grant stipulates a 20% matching contribution from the railway, which amounts to $600,000.