Colorado Senators Support Amtrak Funding

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.

PDF of the letter from Senators Gardner and Bennet

Senate Commerce Committee hears from rail leaders

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

Vermont and Quebec Looking to Connect Rail Service

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One of the reasons that state support is so critical for rail passenger service is highlighted in this story.  U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is trying to prevent extension of Vermont’s rail service into neighboring Quebec.  When one reads their statement carefully, they won’t even commit to working it out if they are ordered to do it.  That agency was the main obstacle to extending Cascades service into British Columbia.  The State of Vermont and the Province of Quebec are having to carry the ball in terms of working out details.  Rob Rynerson