Posts Tagged "amtrak"
After last week’s inspiring rail trip along the Gulf Coast where we witnessed firsthand the massive support from citizens and local leaders alike for restoring passenger rail service along the coast, a member of the Southern Rail Commission testified before the Senate’s key rail committee earlier this week to deliver the same message Gulf Coast citizens so passionately presented at each stop last week.
The Gulf Coast inspection train toured a potential route and examined the CSX tracks last week from February 18-19th. It was the product of years of work by local residents and elected leaders at almost all levels to restore the passenger rail service wiped out by Katrina over ten years ago.
While the local residents who turned out along the Gulf Coast last week to support the return of passenger rail through their communities are perhaps most hopeful for a new way to get where they want to go, their leaders are focused intently on the significant economic development potential for their cities, region and states that will come from the new connection.
A massive show of support yesterday from the people of the Gulf Coast welcomed the first passenger rail train east of New Orleans since Katrina, with thousands of residents in scores of communities from New Orleans to Atmore, Alabama turning out to send a clear message to their elected leaders that they want passenger rail service back.
A train full of elected, civic and other local leaders from the Gulf Coast and beyond will ride a special Amtrak inspection train from New Orleans to Jacksonville, Florida this week — a step toward restoring the passenger rail service east of New Orleans wiped out by Hurricane Katrina more than ten years ago — and Transportation for America will be along for the ride.
New Orleans and Baton Rouge are the two biggest cities in Louisiana, but they lack a passenger rail connection of any kind. On Monday, The Southern Rail Commission released this document, authored by Transportation for America’s Beth Osborne, that provides the Louisiana governor and legislature with a how-to guide for starting daily passenger rail service between the two cities.
Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) today introduced a multi-year bill to authorize funding to Amtrak and support passenger rail, dubbed the Railroad Reform, Enhancement and Efficiency Act. It would be the successor to the existing rail authorization, the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act. In response, T4America Chairman John Robert Smith, a former chair of the Amtrak board, released this statement:
Insightful, in-depth article details efforts to restore & expand passenger rail service in the deep South
A terrific in-depth article examines T4America’s partnership with a group of southern leaders pushing to restore and expand passenger rail service through the Gulf Coast states — something that mayors and other civic leaders in towns small and large across the region are clamoring for.
US House approves bill by a thin margin that makes cuts to TIGER, transit construction and passenger rail
Late Tuesday night, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass their yearly transportation spending bill with just 6 votes separating the bill from defeat. While the cuts to TIGER, Amtrak and New Starts transit capital programs were unfortunately approved by the House, it’s unlikely this bill will become law any time soon. That’s because of the Senate’s likely inability to pass any annual spending bills this summer due to the parties’ lack of agreement on overall funding for the government this year.
This evening, the House of Representatives is expected to begin debate and vote on their annual transportation funding bill. As it stands, the bill will make painful cuts to several important transportation programs that local communities depend on. With debate beginning tonight at 7 p.m., it’s crucial that we weigh in as soon as possible.