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Agencies host high-speed rail conference

ALBANY — State transportation and economic development agencies are hosting a conference in Albany to discuss the future of high-speed rail in New York state.

Officials from the Department of Transportation and Empire State Development have been joined Monday by more than 200 business leaders and railroad industry representatives for the daylong conference at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

State officials say high-speed passenger rail service will create jobs, boost tourism and help New York’s economy, especially along Amtrak’s Empire Corridor between Albany and Buffalo.

The state has been awarded $151 million of the $8 billion in federal stimulus funds set aside for rail projects. Most of the money is for improvements along the east-west corridor, including installing a second track between Albany and Schenectady.