CO Senators support Amtrak
Colorado’s U.S. Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet have written supporting continued funding for Amtrak’s long distance trains. The April 6 letter went to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development, of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The Senators noted that President Trump’s proposed budget would likely eliminate the California Zephyr and the Southwest Chief, “causing harm to the Colorado communities with stops along their routes.” They added that the cuts may affect the new Winter Park Express.
“We believe long distance Amtrak lines have proven to be a vital program for rural communities in Colorado and throughout the nation and therefore warrant continued support from Congress,” the Senators wrote.
The first season of the Winter Park Express was a big success. ColoRail leaders traveled on the last trip on March 26. They honored Gary DeFrange, the outgoing CEO of Winter Park ski resort with a custom train host parka, poster and letter of thanks.
Gary, a ColoRail member, played a crucial role in getting the train going. Amtrak has committed to continuing the WPE in 2018. ColoRail coordinated the train host program and presented passengers with a special postcard and pen on the return trips March 25th and 26th.
Here is an update from the National Association of Railroad Passengers about President Donald Trump’s budget proposal:
On Feb. 15, 2017 the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing title “Moving America: Stakeholder Perspectives on our Multimodal Transportation System”. Witnesses were:
– Mr. Matthew K. Rose, Executive Chairman, BNSF Railway
– Dr. Christopher B. Lofgren, Chief Executive Officer, Schneider National
– Mr. Tom Gurd, Vice President of Integrated Supply Chain, Dow Chemical Company
– Mr. Wick Moorman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Amtrak
The web page for the hearing includes video of the event: Feb. 15 Senate Hearing on Multi-Modal
The Colorado Senate today passed the Southwest Chief and Front Range Passenger Rail Commission bill 24-11. The Bill, SB17-153, will now be taken up by the House.