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Elmira/Corning

Federal funds needed to repair port rail lines

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Federal funds needed to repair port rail lines
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OSWEGO, N.Y. -- After five decades without any upgrades, the Port of Oswego rail system could soon be getting a facelift.

Monday afternoon, Senator Charles Schumer visited the port to discuss his efforts to secure additional infrastructure funding for the facility. Schumer says he will ask the "Federal Railroad Administration" for a $1.5 million loan to upgrade the port's railway tracks.

The tracks and switches have fallen into disrepair since their construction in 1963. But Schumer says if these repairs are done, the port can handle more cargo, which in turn would strengthen Central New York's economy.

"It's clear that the tracks have to be rehabbed, to ensure that there be a reliable flow of shipments of things like soy beans, and wheat and corn and aluminum, a projected increase in these shipments could bring at least another 500 cars here annually and probably more than that," said Sen. Schumer.

The port currently handles about one thousand rail cars per year.

Schumer is also backing the "Harbor Maintenance Act of 2013." It would free up federal money for dredging in the Oswego port and others throughout New York State.

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