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High-speed rail hearings to begin

Albany, N.Y. (AP) -- Public meetings begin this week on proposals for high-speed passenger rail service in New York state.
            
The first of six hearings is Tuesday at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany. Meetings are also planned in Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester, Utica and Poughkeepsie.
            
The state Department of Transportation said five options are proposed in an environmental review required for federal funding.
            
Under the options, trains would have top operating speeds of 79, 90, 110 and 125 mph. The current top speed allowed west of Schenectady is 79 mph, although the study said the current average speed for Amtrak trains between Buffalo and Albany barely tops 50 mph.
            
The costs of the plans range from $1.7 billion to $6.2 billion.

 
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