I do have to note that the Governor's office sure takes a lot of credit for the HSIPR grants, many of which were awarded before he took office. <ahem>
Extended excerpt from the press release:
Albany, NY (May 31, 2012)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced plans to dispose of outdated, obsolete and non-functioning trains that have been sitting idle in a weed filled industrial park in Glenville. In addition, millions of dollars of unused and unneeded replacement train parts that have been stored in a warehouse in Rotterdam will also be sold. Taxpayers will save more than $150,000 in yearly lease costs as well as benefit from the proceeds from the sale and disposition of the equipment.
"I have repeatedly said that state government must be more efficient and must stop wasting taxpayer money," said Governor Cuomo. "In this case, millions of dollars of taxpayer money were used to buy obsolete equipment, and hundreds of thousands more spent to store it. This is exactly why we are scouring through the operations of every agency - to make sure cases like this are found and stopped."
The trains were part of a high speed rail program that was launched in 1998 and was supposed to provide faster service between Albany and New York City. Originally built in 1976, seven train cars were supposed to be rehabilitated and upgraded for $70 million as part of the $185 million project. Two trains were upgraded and put into service for a short period in 2003. But poor planning and engineering problems made the trains unusable and the program was stopped. Since then four of the trains – each consisting of two locomotives, a café car, and two passenger cars have been decaying in an industrial rail yard. Today, these types of trains are considered obsolete, with none in service in the United States, and are used in only a handful of countries around the world.
The trains were identified for disposition during our ongoing review of New York state agencies—a review meant to root out waste. At the Governor’s direction, the Office of General Services (OGS) will oversee the sale and disposal of the locomotives, cars and unneeded rail parts located at the Rotterdam and Scotia Industrial Parks. OGS will engage a technology parts broker to assess the value and condition of the trains and the parts, and to manage the sale and disposition of the equipment. The trains may have to be sold for scrap, depending on the outcome of the evaluation. Industry experts will help determine how best to sell the equipment by the end of the year.
The locomotives and train cars, in various stages of disrepair, have been stored at a facility in Scotia, Schenectady County, at an annual cost of $58,000. The unneeded train parts are warehoused in Rotterdam, also in Schenectady County, at an annual cost of $95,000. New York state has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for leasing spaces to store this equipment.
The millions of dollars of train parts stored at the warehouse would fit into more than 100 tractor trailer trucks and include:
•4 large turbine engines
•4 medium sized turbine engines
•1 used medium sized turbine engine
•8 train transmissions
•8 new large electric generators
•Hundreds of seat frames, cushions and upholstery
•Dozens of new train wheels and brake rotors