Trains For America

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Hell freezes over! Boozman backs Amtrak and HSR

It was only last year that Arkansas Republican Representative John Boozman drew some attention to himself by suggesting that Amtrak caused pollution. I have an extensive interview with him posted on my Lynch at Large blog from that episode. It’s the old Blogspot blog, so scroll down when you get there. It is in two parts.

Well, here is the latest item passed along from the nation’s capitol.

Mr. BOOZMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I enthusiastically support this resolution recognizing National Train Day. The ceremonial golden spike hammered on May 10, 1869, marked the completion of one of this Nation’s greatest engineering masterpieces, and marked the birth of what would become the greatest rail network in the world.

The United States now has 140,000 miles of railroads, making up the transportation backbone of this Nation. These railroads are environmentally friendly, producing significantly less pollution than competing modes of transit. In fact, a train can haul one ton of freight 436 miles on one gallon of diesel fuel, and is three times cleaner than a truck. Furthermore, trains help alleviate congestion on our crowded highways. One train can take 280 trucks off the road.

The recently introduced Amtrak reauthorization, H.R. 6003, will make significant enhancements to Amtrak’s growing business. The legislation will give Amtrak the funding it needs to continue improving its service while also creating innovative programs to enhance passenger rail service.

The State grants provision in the bill will give a greater say in how Federal funding is utilized for capital projects, and a private operator pilot program will increase innovation and competition in passenger rail service.

Additionally, H.R. 6003 includes a plan to create public-private partnerships to construct true high speed rail corridors all over the Nation. High-speed rail promises safe, fast and convenient service, all the while helping to alleviate aviation and highway congestion. I urge passage of H. Res. 1176.

I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. BOOZMAN. Mr. Speaker, in closing, I also want to urge adoption of this resolution. I want to thank the gentlewoman from Florida and the ranking member, Mr. Shuster, for bringing it forward. I also want to compliment them and their staffs for the hard work that they are pursuing now on the Amtrak reauthorization.

Again, I urge adoption.

Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Politics, United States High Speed Rail

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