Friday, June 03, 2005

Midwest High Speed Rail Development

Info from the Environmental Law and Policy Center, Chicago:

"Bush's fiscal 2006 budget proposal eliminates all funding for Amtrak. It would end virtually all intercity rail passenger service in the nation. This places the burden of funding intercity passenger rail entirely on states that do not have the financial resources or governing structure to assume such an unfunded mandate.

Members of Congress are organizing across party lines to save Amtrak and strengthen passenger rail in America.

The Administration claims that an Amtrak bankruptcy would eliminate 'inefficient operations' and lead to the emergence of a 'more rational' passenger rail system. This is NOT the case. Unlike airline bankruptcies, an Amtrak bankruptcy would NOT trigger new negotiations with labor unions and creditors but would lead almost immediately to Amtrak's liquidation by a court-appointed trustee whose sole responsibility would be to protect creditors.

Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Mike Castle (R-Del.), and Rob Andrews (D-NJ) have announced the formation of a new bipartisan Passenger Rail Caucus. The mission of the new caucus is to create a coalition among Members of Congress who will ensure the long-term sustainability of America's passenger rail system. The Caucus will serve as a forum of ideas to improve passenger rail, and the group will soon announce a series of briefings and events meant to enhance communication between the many competing reform proposals that are currently being considered in congress and by experts throughout the nation."

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