SOUTH KINGSTOWN—As gas prices rise and uncertainty grows about the sustainability of the country’s consumption of fossils fuel, Rhode Island has taken a step towards preserving resources and creating a more economically stable environment. The state has received $28 million for the development a high-speed rail system through the Northeast corridor, the Rhode Island portion of which will run from Kingston rail station in South Kingstown up to Providence.
The $28 million is funding from the federal Recovery Act which was diverted to Rhode Island after Florida Governor Rick Scott rejected it earlier this year. $25 million will be used to install 1.5 miles of track capable of supporting the Amtrak high-speed Acela train which travels up to 150 miles per hour. The remaining $3 million will be used to renovate the existing rail facilities in Providence.
“As the nation’s most densely populated transportation corridor, the Northeast Corridor has a well-established passenger rail infrastructure,” said Congressman James Langevin. “However, that infrastructure is dated and overburdened. Federal investments could quickly be leveraged to improve mobility in a way that serves not just regional, but indeed national interests.”
The Kingston station itself will be renovated in order to accommodate higher rail speeds and a more rapid flow of passenger traffic. The train platforms will be raised even to the level of the station building so that passengers will no longer need to step up or down to board the trains. The Kingston station will thus become compliant with regulations set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), allowing proper access for all passengers.
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