October 25, 2014

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 [...]

Obama touts $302B transportation plan in St. Paul

President Barack Obama came to St. Paul on Wednesday to showcase the city’s newly refurbished Union Depot transit hub as an example of the kinds of transportation development he wants for the rest of the nation. “This project symbolizes what’s possible,” Obama told a standing-room-only crowd of 1,300 ticketed enthusiasts in the 90-year-old Lowertown depot’s [...]

Amtrak’s Boardman: Rural needs trump extras

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Amtrak’s CEO says passenger rail service in Southeastern Colorado is more important than some other amenities such as chocolates on the pillows for long-distance travelers. “Our most essential goal is to ensure Amtrak continues to serve small town America that is being abandoned by airlines and bus companies, and keep communities such as Trinidad and [...]

Amtrak suspends some service ahead of storm

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WASHINGTON – Amtrak is suspending some trains as a winter storm threatens the South and the Northeast. Amtrak says the suspensions Wednesday are meant to reduce the exposure of passengers, crews and equipment to extreme weather. Read the complete story at the Associated Press.

Amtrak launches new loco at Boston’s South Station

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Amtrak will launch the first of a fleet of new locomotives out of Boston’s South Station on Friday, officials said. The 70 new locomotives have advanced technology and modern equipment that company officials hope will provide more reliable service. Read the complete story at the Boston Globe.

NARP says oil shipments hurting passengers

A combination of bad weather and a large number of oil shipments has been severely delaying Amtrak riders in northern Plains states – and a rail passenger advocacy group is trying to do something about it. It hasn’t been easy to be a rail passenger lately – especially if you’re traveling on Amtrak’s Empire Builder. [...]

FY14 appropriations good for TIGER, Amtrak

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Congressional conference committee members cobbling together an actual fiscal year 2014 federal budget have reportedly agreed on budgetary numbers fairly favorable to Amtrak and Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) programs. Federal high speed rail funding, however, is omitted entirely. Amtrak’s FY14 budget numbers include $340 million for operations, and $1.55 billion for capital (including [...]