Making smart, regional connections is the smartest think for Amtrak to be doing, but politicians insist that the train line serve cities in their district for political reasons. Then they cut the funding. Meanwhile, Japan just announced a train that goes 300mph.
Amtrak’s president says long-distance trains and some short-haul routes would be jeopardized and service in the busy Northeast corridor might have to be slowed if federal subsidy cuts proposed by a House subcommittee are realized.
Iowa Republican Rep. Tom Latham is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee’s transportation subcommittee. He proposed a fiscal 2014 transportation budget Tuesday that includes $950 million in operating and capital subsidies for Amtrak, nearly a third less than the railroad received last year.
Amtrak’s Joseph Boardman says the House has decided the nation should be connected by train service but doesn’t want to pay for the money-losing routes to needed to achieve that.
He says Amtrak lost $558 million on long-distance service last year but profited from its high-speed Acela service in the Northeast.
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Photo credit: Amtrak unveils locomotives to replace aging fleet. Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press