September 16, 2014

Previsch, TTD inform lawmakers about Amtrak

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A column by SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich and AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Edward Wytkind informing lawmakers about the public’s support for Amtrak was published April 16 by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In response to the column, Missouri State Legislative Director Ken Menges told Previsich and Transportation Division National Legislative Director James Stem, [...]

FRA’s Szabo testifies on rail safety before STB

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Federal Railroad Administration chief Joseph Szabo testified April 10 before members of the Surface Transportation Board regarding the negative impact service degradation on the nation’s railroad network could have on rail safety and Amtrak on-time performance. His prepared oral testimony follows: Chairman Elliott and Vice Chairman Begeman, on behalf of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, thank [...]

Report: Northeast Corridor is an economic engine

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A new report, “The Northeast Corridor and the American Economy,” produced by the Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission (NEC Commission) details how the Northeast Corridor (NEC), carrying 750,000 daily Amtrak and commuter/regional rail passengers, “is a critical national asset, an economic engine for the U.S., and contributes about $50 billion a year to [...]

Southwest Chief could be rerouted from rural Colo.

From the towns of Lamar and La Junta on the Eastern Plains, south to Trinidad, the Southwest Chief has made stops since 1971 as it shuttles passengers between Chicago and Los Angeles. But soon the picturesque views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains that passengers have enjoyed could be replaced by the flat plains of [...]

Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget would destroy Amtrak

CHICAGO (April 2, 2014)–Midwest High Speed Rail Association Executive Director Richard Harnish issued the following statement on Wednesday in response to Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposed budget, which would completely eliminate funding for Amtrak: “Buried deep in the pages of Congressman Paul Ryan’s proposed 2015 federal budget today is a murder. The victim of this [...]

Southwest Chief: Staying on track

Colorado’s Senate Transportation Committee will consider the bill to save the Amtrak Southwest Chief rail line at 2 p.m. Tuesday. The passenger rail route, which runs through. Southeastern Colorado, has been targeted by Amtrak for possible elimination in 2015 if funding for track improvements and maintenance are not found. House Bill 1161, sponsored by state [...]

Measure to save Southwest Chief passes Colo. House

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PUEBLO, Colo. – A bill to save Amtrak’s Southwest Chief rail line through Southeastern Colorado passed the state House March 19, Pueblo County Commissioner Sal Pace said. HB14-1161, sponsored by Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, passed on a 44-20 vote. Read the complete story at The Pueblo Chieftain.

Amtrak seeks new funding policy in budget request

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WASHINGTON – In its Fiscal Year 2015 budget request to Congress, Amtrak is seeking a change in federal passenger rail investment and warns that continuation of current funding levels leave Northeast Corridor infrastructure vulnerable to a bigger, costlier and far more damaging failure than anything yet seen. “Infrastructure deterioration and changes in business patterns have [...]

Amtrak highlights 2014 infrastructure work

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WASHINGTON – During 2014, Amtrak plans to move forward on key improvement projects, including continued installation of positive train control safety technology, the start of major construction to upgrade Northeast Corridor high-speed rail and expansion of station accessibility for passengers with disabilities. “With limited federal capital funding we are doing the work that needs to [...]

Politico website notes findings of SMART TD survey

The following appeared on the website Politico, which covers political news with a focus on national politics, Congress, Capitol Hill, lobbying, advocacy and more, on its Morning Transportation blog. “The passenger rail service has strong support in North Dakota – not exactly the first state one thinks of when pondering where Amtrak’s loudest boosters live. North [...]