March 3, 2015

House committee approves Amtrak funding legislation

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The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Feb. 12 unanimously approved bipartisan legislation that improves the infrastructure, reduces costs, creates greater accountability and transparency, leverages private sector resources, and accelerates project delivery for Amtrak and the nation’s passenger rail transportation system. The Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015, or PRRIA (H.R. 749), was introduced by [...]

Foxx unveils Obama’s infrastructure investment plan

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx Feb. 2 announced President Obama’s $94.7 billion Fiscal Year 2016 Budget for the U.S. Department of Transportation. The proposal makes critical investments in infrastructure needed to promote long-term economic growth, enhance safety and efficiency, and support jobs for the 21st century. Speaking at a town hall at Google headquarters in [...]

T&I Committee unveils passenger-rail reform bill

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House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and other committee leaders yesterday introduced the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015 (PRRIA), which would address infrastructure needs, transparency and other issues for Amtrak. “By compelling Amtrak to operate more like a true business, cutting red tape, and opening the door to more [...]

Safety mandate raises passenger rail concerns in Mo.

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ST. LOUIS – The expense of installing mandated train collision avoidance technology is putting passenger service in Missouri at risk, according to the state Department of Transportation. The equipment, which is designed to override human error, is supposed to be in place by Dec. 31, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Read the complete story at the [...]

Student with measles boarded Amtrak train in N.Y.

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A New York college student with measles boarded an Amtrak station from Penn Station earlier this week and may have exposed other passengers to the contagious virus. The student at Bard College in Dutchess County took Amtrak train #283 from Penn Station to Albany, according to state health officials. He got off in Rhinecliff, N.Y. [...]

Previsich testifies before senators on passenger rail

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SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security Dec. 10 at the Russell Senate Office Building. The hearing focused on the current state of intercity passenger rail in the United States, the need to invest [...]

Spending bill provisions for Amtrak, railroads

According to The Washington Post, a $1.01 trillion spending bill that will keep most of the federal government funded through September retains Amtrak’s current funding of $1.39 billion, the same amount it currently receives. It also provides $3 million to expand inspections along the roughly 14,000 miles of track used by trains hauling oil tankers. To view the [...]

Collection boxes set up for stabbed Amtrak conductor

Collection boxes have been set up at Chicago’s Union Station to accept donations to assist Amtrak conductor and SMART Transportation Division member Dontreal “Donnie” Bankhead and his family, according to Illinois State Legislative Director Robert Guy. Bankhead, 40, a member of Local 168 at Chicago, was seriously injured while performing his duties aboard Amtrak Train [...]

Amtrak stabbing suspect: Had to fight a demon

NILES, Mich. – The man accused of stabbing four people on an Amtrak train told police that it started after a man he was talking to on the train “turned into a demon and he had to fight them,” according to court documents obtained by 24 Hour News 8. “Michael Williams said he did not [...]

Court questions Amtrak’s role in setting standards

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court appeared divided Monday as it considered whether Amtrak, the government-owned passenger rail company, wields too much clout in setting regulations that private freight carriers also must follow. The nine justices heard arguments in a challenge by the Association of American Railroads to a federal law that gives Amtrak, a [...]