The House on Wednesday approved a large investment in passenger rail service by re-authorizing Amtrak with $14.9 billion for capital and operating grants, state intercity passenger grants, and high-speed rail over the next five years, including proposed corridors in Texas and Mississippi...
...Unlike past battles, the House debate was overwhelmingly positive as members cited the high cost of gasoline and the need to provide national rail service in support of the bill.
"Given this energy and congestion crisis, Americans need transportation solutions that are affordable, accessible and environmentally sustainable - and that is what Amtrak and high-speed rail can offer," said House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar, D-Minn. "One full passenger train can take 250 to 350 cars off the road."
...Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, proposed eliminating the Sunset Limited altogether - which now connects Los Angeles to New Orleans - because of its high costs but the amendment was soundly defeated with 150 in favor and 275 against.
10 months ago