The New York rail plan is the second since 1978 and includes several proposals that will need further study and planning.
Paterson wants to upgrade crossings so trains on specific routes could go from 79 mph now to 110 mph within five years. If more funding is secured on top of the proposed federal stimulus and state spending, train speed could rise to 150 mph within eight years, he said.
Paterson notes that is still slower than the 200 mph trains in Europe and Japan and the 300 mph trains in China, but it could help revitalize upstate cities by drastically cutting truck hauling and automobile traffic.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer called the announcement a crucial first step toward high-speed rail.
Republicans in the Senate minority have said Democrats are using the announcements, three so far, as a ruse to mask a lack of upstate aid in New York's $24.6 billion share of the stimulus package.
NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS