Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Montana Update

The Havre Daily News reports the Senate action, which is good news for people in Big Sky Country, where Amtrak provides an essential transportation service. You better sit down, however, for one of our enemy’s big lies which slips through without question.

Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., said he will support the bill when it gets to the House. “Amtrak is critical to the Hi-Line,” Rehberg said. “I’m a strong support of Amtrak in Congress and have been successful in defeating many attempts by the president to cut funding for Amtrak. I’ve also repeatedly supported funding Amtrak at a level of $2 billion per year, which goes above and beyond what the Senate has passed. I look forward to my colleagues in the House quickly taking up the Amtrak reauthorization legislation so that we can k e e p Mo n t a n a ’ s Empire Builder running.” The bill, which authorizes Congress to appropriate funds up to $11.4 billion for the operation of the national passenger rail service for 2007-2012, has already found opposition from the administration of President Bush, The Associated Press reports. The administration said it opposes the bill because it falls short of demands including allocating resources based on passenger rail service demand, investing more money in the profitable Northeast Corridor of the service and opening up to competition.

Reporters are busy people, but to suggest that the northeast corridor is “profitable” is a serious error, and don’t give me that “above the rail” nonsense either. There would be no “above the rail” operation without the substantial expense in the rail and corresponding infrastructure. Although most intelligent people would favor substantial increases in maintenance, it is very costly to operate trains over 125. mph. Otherwise, it is a good stoy.

There is also reference made to studying the southern route, which has been discussed recently.

Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy

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