U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.) have reintroduced a bill authorizing $250 million annually for highway/rail grade crossing safety projects.
Rail Passengers Association
“Unripe.” That is what CSX and Norfolk Southern (NS) have called Amtrak’s application with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) asking for an order requiring the freight railroads to permit access for twice daily round-trip passenger service between New Orleans and Mobile, starting on or about Jan. 1, 2022.
Recent opinion pieces and news stories, such as in Railway Age, have indicated the Rail Passengers Association “goes along to get along” with Amtrak executives and does not express any objections to what the passenger railroad has done or will do when it comes to serving the riding public. This is clearly not the case.
New Jersey calls itself “The Crossroads of the Revolution” in its promotional literature and advertisements. Not only was it centrally located during America’s War for Independence, but its troops under George Washington were tested against both the heat and the British at the Battle of Monmouth in June, 1778 and against the coldest winter of the century, 1779-80, at Morristown. Both times, and on other occasions, it met the challenges and went on to help establish our nation.
A white paper issued by the Rail Passengers Association, “Amtrak’s Route Accounting: Fatally Flawed, Misleading & Wrong,” contends that Amtrak’s fully allocated cost methodology “grossly exaggerates the cost of operating the national passenger train system. This, in turn, has lead to the conclusion adopted by many elected leaders and other affected stakeholders that abandonment of key long-distance trains will save Amtrak significant sums and lead to a more financially secure national passenger operation.”