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3/18/97 11:37PM Capital Improvement Trust Fund For Amtrak - Train travel, model railroading, railfan and railroad industry information including Amtrak train travelogues, railroad photographs, model train building tips and more.
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3/18/97 11:37PM Capital Improvement Trust Fund For Amtrak

From:	crocon@connix.com
Date:	3/12/97  11:37:14PM
To:	steveg@liberty.com
Subject:	Friends of Amtrak update 3/13/97

Dear Friends of Amtrak:

>From the NARP:

Senator Bill Roth (R-DE) will testify Thursday morning,
March 13, at a Senate Environment & Public Works Committee hearing (406
Dirksen Bldg., at 9:30 am).  He will outline his legislation to create a
capital improvement trust fund for Amtrak and discuss the importance of
giving states greater flexibility to use their federal transportation
dolars for Amtrak services.  The trust fund would be a half-cent from the
4.3-cents-a-gallon now going to deficit reduction (but his bill is not
expected to deal with the other 3.8 cents).  Roth has six co-sponsors thus
far: Baucus (D-MT), Biden (D-DE), Jeffords (R-VT), Kerry (D-MA), Lautenberg
(D-NJ) and Wyden (D-OR).

He will face two of the Senate's most outspoken opponents of these
concepts: John Warner (R-VA) and Robert Smith (R-NH).  Amtrak, the American
Public Transit Association and the Association of American Railroads also
will testify at this hearing.

Two other important hearings are scheduled for this week: Rep. Susan
Molinari's (R-NY) Subcommittee on Railroads will hear testimony from Amtrak
and the General Accounting Office tomorrow (Wednesday, March 12, 2 pm, 2167
Rayburn Bldg.).  The subject will be a new, bleak GAO assessment of
Amtrak's financial condition.  Also, the Senate Commerce Subcommittee
chaired by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) will hold an Amtrak hearing on
Thursday, March 13, at 2 pm (253 Russell Bldg).

[Senator Roth also has taken an active role in creating a "coalition of
Amtrak supporters" within the Senate.  His March 4 release on this said he
was joining with Max Baucus (D-MT), Joseph Biden Jr. (D-DE) and three other
Senators to announce the formation of a coalition that will fight for the
nation's passenger rail system.  A similar House group also is forming.]


The Washington State Association of Railroad Passengers has a new website.
The URL is:



Amtrak has restored a third coach to the Texas Eagle consist, at least
temporarily.  The advance reservation statistics which prompted that decision
have been posted on the Arkansas Rail web page, under the "On-line
Publications" section.

This site may be accessed at:


The next few days appear crucial to the survival of the Eagle. The State of
Texas is considering a short-term loan [a loan, NOT a grant] to Amtrak, to
preserve Eagle service from May 10 through the end of this fiscal year
(September 30) in order to allow Congress time to develop a more permanent
funding solution.

Rail advocates are urged to contact the office of Texas Governor George Bush
on Thursday or Friday, March 13-14.  Urge the Governor to expedite the
handling of the state loan to save the Texas Eagle.  Contact the Governor's
office at: 800-252-9600.  You will be asked for your name and zip code, so
that they may total the responses by geographical area.

-from Bill Pollard of Arkansas Rail


Craig O'Connell (crocon@connix.com)
Friends of Amtrak


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