January 28, 2014

Steve Kulm

Media Contact

202 906.3860

WASHINGTON – Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman made the following statement following a Congressional hearing today which focused on the effectiveness of the surface transportation safety grant program to improve the safety of the travelling public:

“Today’s Congressional hearing is part of the larger discussion on the need for a new surface transportation bill and is focused on identifying effective and innovative projects and activities that improve the safety of the travelling public. However, rail safety is really only part of today’s discussion where highways cross railroad tracks.

“That’s unfortunate. The fact that highway-rail grade crossing safety has long been included in the Highway Trust Fund is a strong argument for a new framework of a balanced surface transportation investment program that can invest in any surface mode—including Highway, Transit and Rail (both freight and passenger). The guiding principle of such a program must focus on national priorities, connectivity and economic growth.

“We all need to recognize the Highway Trust Fund is based on an outmoded vision for mobility in the United States and is financially unviable. If Congress simply structures a new surface transportation bill around the existing framework of the Highway Trust Fund, we will all lose because nothing worthwhile will change in our national transportation policy.”

Click here for a copy of a recent speech delivered by Boardman on the topic of Bringing Transportation Funding into the 21st Century.

About Amtrak®

Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. Amtrak and its state and commuter partners move people, the economy and the nation forward. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. In FY 2014, nearly 31 million passengers traveled on Amtrak on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Enjoy the journey® at or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter (@Amtrak) and check out our blog at