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Old Posted May 23, 2008, 4:08 AM
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Lightbulb Urge Your Congressman to Support H.R. 6003

It's a bill aimed at bolstering Amtrak and financing other rail projects. Full text here.

Currently, there are 41 cosponsors; however, with 218, the bill gets floor time, so ask your congressman or congresswoman to sign on as a cosponsor!

You can find your representative here.
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Old Posted May 23, 2008, 4:49 AM
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I wrote my Congresslady, the Speaker.
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Old Posted May 23, 2008, 5:13 AM
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I wrote my Congresslady, the Speaker.
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Old Posted May 28, 2008, 9:17 PM
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Tell your congressman to support the passenger rail bill (HR 6003)

House Resolution 6003 is a bill before Congress that, if approved, would (among other things):
  • Completely fund Amtrak for the next five years.
  • Solicit a request for proposals to improve high-speed rail in the Northeast Corridor to more European standards, with the specific goal of reducing travel time between New York and Washington to less than two hours on an express train. (see this thread)
  • Instruct the Department of Transportation to identify potential new routes for both basic Amtrak service and high-speed service, including a specific study of high-speed rail in the Southeast Corridor from Washington to Charlotte.
  • Appropriate $60 million for a new tunnel alignment in Baltimore, to be approved by 2013.
  • Authorize a grant to add a third track and make other improvements to the rail line between Washington and Richmond, improving the prospects of adding VRE service on the Fredericksburg line.
  • Instruct the Federal Railroad Administration to study the extent to which biofuels can be used for freight and passenger rail.
  • Provide a framework to fund intercity rail plans drawn up by individual states.
  • Conduct a study comparing rail service in the United States to rail service abroad, identifying deficiencies in domestic service.
All good stuff. Exactly the type of bill that should be before Congress, unlike ridiculous gas tax holidays. On May 22 the bill was approved by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and is now before the House Rules Committee for consideration for floor time in the full chamber. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the House Majority Leader, says passage of the bill before the August recess will be a priority.

Right now the bill has 41 co-sponsors. Here is the list. If your congressman isn't one of them, write in and demand support for this bill.
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Old Posted May 29, 2008, 4:46 AM
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This thread already exists, and it's even still on Page 1....

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=151590

In addition to what you mentioned, the bill allows for construction of a totally new, passenger-only line from Porter, IN to Chicago, which would allow Amtrak trains to bypass significant freight rail congestion in Northwest Indiana and Chicago's South Side, shaving 20-30 minutes off of trips to Detroit, Cleveland, or the East Coast.

It also allows for a third track to be built between Portland and Seattle, to speed up and allow more Coast Starlight and Cascades trains, and a second track to be built between Richmond, VA, and Selma, NC.
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Old Posted May 29, 2008, 5:08 AM
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A third track between Portland and Seattle is desperately, desperately needed. The train is essentially never on time because of freight trains and it has the potential to be a pretty highly used route.
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  #7  
Old Posted Jun 12, 2008, 3:49 AM
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House overwhelmingly passes Amtrak funding bill
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/amtrak_co...IJn_yANhhhr7sF

The bill passed, with veto proof margins in both houses of Congress. Which is good news because Bush said he was going to veto it, cause, you know, vetoing mass transit funding is the best way to stick it to Al-Queda...
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Old Posted Jun 12, 2008, 6:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
This thread already exists, and it's even still on Page 1....

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=151590
Sorry, I didn't realize a thread had already existed. It looks like it has been removed though...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron38 View Post
House overwhelmingly passes Amtrak funding bill
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/amtrak_co...IJn_yANhhhr7sF

The bill passed, with veto proof margins in both houses of Congress. Which is good news because Bush said he was going to veto it, cause, you know, vetoing mass transit funding is the best way to stick it to Al-Queda...
Thanks for the bulletin, aaron38. I saw that it has veto-proof margins in both houses, as well, and am pretty thrilled.

The veto threat apparently stems from George Bush's belief that the bill doesn't hold Amtrak accountable.

You know, I'm all for fiscal conservatism -- I'd like to think of myself as a "liberal" of the classical variety -- but today's Republicans, with 43 at the helm, have totally turned that notion on its head. Kowtowing to Big Business to avoid forcing our country to take an abrupt and maybe painful turn towards energy independence is not in our economic interest and certainly not in the interest of our security, especially when most of the world's oil is beneath antagonistic states.

If George Bush truly operated out of concern for this country's financial well-being, he wouldn't reject the bill but ask that extra measures be included to ensure efficiency.

And how exactly is public funding for a national highway system all fair and good but for mass transportation reckless?
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  #9  
Old Posted Jun 12, 2008, 8:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Abner View Post
A third track between Portland and Seattle is desperately, desperately needed. The train is essentially never on time because of freight trains and it has the potential to be a pretty highly used route.
Nothing like this is likely to be done as a result of this bill. These tracks are owned by one of the freight railroads (Union Pacific or some other) and they will likely have to do any upgrading--AMTRAK only funds track improvement in the northeast (Boston to DC) where it actually owns the tracks as far as I am aware. OR, if the states or Oregon and/or Washington wish, they can work out something with the owner to fund certain improvements designed to improve passenger service--the bill apparently does set up a framework for helping to fund such state-initiated improvements (although it isn't clear to me that it contains any money to do that). This is what California has done on several routes within that state. A third set of tracks the entire distance from Portland to Seattle (are there two already?) probably wouldn't be necessary--just lengthy sidings in strategic locations so that faster trains can pass slower ones.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2008, 4:28 AM
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As far as I am aware much of the Surfliner line between San Diego and SLO is actually single tracked often

I took it once to LA from SLO and other than the 40 minute delay for freight it was nice and I might add packed, standing room only, despite this slow trip

there is so much latent rail demand for short to medium lenght intercity trips.

We also need funding to improve a proposed Coastal Daylight, SFO to LA
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