Trains For America

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Amtrak next on the stimulus chopping block?

The stimulus package isn’t getting any better in the Senate. According to the New York Times (H/T to the Transport Politic), a compromise amendment with the goal of lowering the cost of the stimulus may cut Amtrak’s allocated $850 million.

Unfortunately, it looks like the targets of the cuts are going to be capital investment projects and not the tax cuts tacked on in the Senate. That’s bad news for schools, transit, and especially intercity rail. Thanks to their powerful lobby, highway money isn’t in any trouble.

Although the mention of Amtrak cuts seems to have been removed from the NYTimes article, Progress Illinois quotes it like this:

Anxious over the ballooning size of the proposed economic stimulus package, now at more than $900 billion, lawmakers in both parties are working on a last-minute plan to strip tens of billions of dollars from the bill. [...]

Among the initiatives that could be cut are … $850 million for Amtrak.

Let’s hope this isn’t the case. Contact your senators to remind them that, at some point in the past year, we were promised change. This stimulus bill has involved a lot of sweating for those advocating non-auto transportation. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that things don’t get entirely derailed in the senate.

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Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Politics

5 Responses

  1. [...] Amtrak Funding Might Be on the Chopping Block (Trains for America) [...]

  2. Cal says:

    I have called Boxer and Pelosi about these backward cuts ..unreal 300 billion in 500buck rebates that people will just pay bills with..I think that amount would just about cover all HSR projects in the USA ..something that would last 100 years ..not 30 days

  3. Jim pindola says:

    I just read that the commuter trains have returned to Baghdad. Whats with our system that the Sunset Unlimited is still not running across North Florida. My be if we don’t have service, maybe the North should get some cuts too.

  4. EvergreenRailfan says:

    Are they also going after the money allocated under last year’s reauthorization, or is this extra money on top of that that is being raided? Either way, it is a bad idea to cut it.

  5. Andy Hoffman says:

    Mass transit that is primarily electric is the key to solving our energy crisis. Hybrid locomotives and dual power source locomotives. Electrify florida, california, new york, pennsylvania, downeaster route to maine from boston. Give transit agencies funding to expand service and re-activate old and open new lines. That might take a few cars off the road and millions of unstable barrels of crude oil not needed to be imported Mr. President. :)

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