Metro- North President Catherine Rinaldi thanking attendees for coming.
Make way for new Metro-North Railroad (MNRR) President Catherine Rinaldi! On Wednesday, May 9th, we held a “Meet the New Metro North Railroad President Breakfast” at the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame featuring the railroad company’s sixth leader, and its first female president. She spoke to our members about service in our area including proposed Port Jervis Line improvements, Governor Cuomo’s recent proposal to add a new train station at Woodbury Common, the Newburgh-Beacon Ferry service, and access to Stewart Airport.
To increase service along the Port Jervis Line, MNRR hopes to add three passing sidings and a mid-point yard in Campbell Hall line. Currently, the line is capable of running 27 weekday trains (eight during peak periods). With these changes, MNRR would be able to increase that number to 44. Funding still needs to be secured in the MTA’s 2020-2024 Capital Program.
Cathy also outlined a new proposal announced by Governor Cuomo for a station at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. The station would utilize existing parking at the Outlets to serve Metro-North customers visiting the mall as well as and the residents of the region. A similar proposal was floated by MNRR decades ago but was quashed by local opposition.
Presently, there are no plans to increase the number of Newburgh-Beacon Ferry trips due to slow or no growth in usage.
Susan Metzger, Orange County’s MTA Board member, emphasized that current infrastructure on the Port Jervis line is at capacity and the only way to increase service at this time is to improve that infrastructure. She reiterated that these projects are currently in the planning phases. To bring them to life, advocacy needs to start now for funds to be secured in the 2020-2024 Capital Program. She encouraged attendees to contact their local government officials so that they can show their support for these projects, especially the Port Jervis Line passing sidings and midpoint yard.
We were fortunate to have a lively discussion following the presentation with community members, business leaders, and representatives from Metro-North Railroad. We thank all who attended, especially Cathy Rinaldi and her colleagues Mark Mannix, Brian Sterman, Elise Van der Linde, and Mike Schiffer.
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