We are in mourning today for the people who lost their lives due to the derailment of the Empire Builder train Saturday, near Joplin, Montana, on the BNSF Railway, as well as the many others who were injured. We have no words that can adequately express our sorrow for those who lost a loved one or who were hurt in this horrible event. They are in our thoughts and prayers.
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WASHINGTON – Amtrak is setting a new standard of travel with enhanced safety and cleaning measures. With its medical director, public health and safety team and partnership with the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, we have studied, analyzed and made improvements to the Amtrak travel experience – from beginning to end – for the safety and health of our people and travelers. In an effort to simplify and safeguard the travel experience, several cleaning, contact-free and convenience measures have been implemented into every part of the customer journey — from time of booking to the moment of arrival.
“The Senate’s passage of the Infrastructure Bill represents more than just this country’s greatest level of investment in Amtrak and infrastructure in the past 50 years. It also highlights America’s commitment to updating the rail network and improving the passenger experience for years to come.
Amtrak is ready to rebuild core infrastructure, replace equipment and, with the FRA and state partners, bring more Amtrak service to more people across the nation, creating thousands of new jobs and reducing America’s carbon footprint.
Separately, Congress needs to ensure that Amtrak gets the on-time performance and preference from our host railroads that the law requires so we can achieve the growth in reliable service that our nation needs,” said Amtrak Board Chair Tony Coscia.
“Amtrak thanks the Surface Transportation Board for its decision to dismiss CSX and NS’ attempt to block Gulf Coast passenger rail service. This upholds Amtrak’s right to petition the Board for rail access and sets a schedule for a transparent process that will produce an outcome by the end of this year.
“In the meantime, Amtrak is working with the Southern Rail Commission to take steps to begin to operate Gulf Coast Service as soon as possible next year.”
“We are saddened to hear about the passing of Richard Trumka, whose leadership, advocacy and commitment to workplace safety and worker’s rights was unparalleled. Richard was a fierce advocate for Amtrak and our employees. Our thoughts are with Richard’s family and friends and the many AFL-CIO colleagues and members during this difficult time.”
We applaud the Administration and the group of bipartisan Senators for putting forward this historic level of investment in Amtrak and passenger rail. If enacted, Amtrak will work to put these funds to use, rebuilding core infrastructure, replacing equipment and, with the FRA and state partners, bringing more Amtrak service to more people across the nation, creating thousands of new jobs and reducing America’s carbon footprint (see our Corridor Vision). While this funding is a fantastic start, we call on Congress to also ensure that Amtrak gets the on-time performance and preference from our host railroads that the law requires so we can achieve the growth in reliable service that our nation needs.
President Biden’s Executive Order will open the nation’s tracks to more frequent and reliable passenger rail service needed for the future mobility of this country. Encouraging the Surface Transportation Board to protect Amtrak’s rights to use freight railroad tracks and prioritize passenger trains will provide more sustainable and equitable transportation options across America. We appreciate the President’s continued support for Amtrak’s plans to bring passenger rail service to more of America.
WASHINGTON – Amtrak is contracting with California-based Siemens Mobility Inc. to manufacture a new fleet of up to 83 multi-powered modern trains that will be leveraged for state and northeast services, with further options for up to 130 additional trains to support Amtrak growth plans. The new fleet will offer modern rail amenities that better serve Amtrak customers.
Based on our initial review, the INVEST in America Act is a bold commitment to a stronger Amtrak and more sustainable transportation system that America needs. The bill authorizes the robust funding necessary to allow Amtrak to better serve the country. It provides additional funding to help advance the recently released Amtrak Connects US vision to bring more trains to new customers and underserved communities, and address Amtrak’s aging bridges, tunnels, and fleet. In addition, the bill would help Amtrak enforce its statutory right to preference so that passengers arrive on time and ensure fair and expeditious access to rail lines to expand service.
If enacted, these provisions will strengthen Amtrak to deliver the 21st century intercity passenger rail network that America needs. We thank the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for their commitment to Amtrak and look forward to working with all of Congress and our partners to bring more sustainable and equitable rail service to communities throughout the nation.
As currently proposed, the acquisition of Pan Am by CSX represents a significant threat to the American traveling public which relies on Amtrak and our state partners to deliver frequent, reliable and sustainable intercity passenger rail service. Unfortunately, we believe the proposed merger, in its proposed form, will negatively impact current passenger train service and future routes in Massachusetts and Northern New England that are identified in the Amtrak Corridor Vision. Our goal, as outlined in the vision, to provide new rail service to over 160 more communities and 20 million more passengers annually by 2035 aligns with the Biden administration’s infrastructure investment blueprint and any merger’s impacts on this goal should be considered by the Surface Transportation Board during its review.
Amtrak’s primary considerations – as it would be with any railroad acquisition – are simple. First, Amtrak wants to ensure on-time performance of Amtrak trains over any impacted routes. Second, we want to ensure we will have a good partner in seeking to improve and expand existing state-supported and long distance services as well as planned expansions to new routes. After reviewing the CSX application, it is clear that the proposed merger, in its current form, will adversely impact the performance of Amtrak trains and threaten future growth opportunities. As the STB evaluates the proposed Pan Am-CSX merger, we urge the Board to recognize that intercity passenger transportation is a critical factor in maintaining and growing rail connections between communities, economic growth, social equity and sustainability.