Happening Now

A Win for the National Network and the Southwest Chief

August 1, 2018

The Senate passed a funding bill that boosts Amtrak funding and keeps the Southwest Chief running. Please join us in saying “thank you” to the Senators who helped us stand up for America’s national train network!

The Senate voted today to pass a funding bill that includes $2.5 billion for passenger rail and ensures the Southwest Chief continues along its established route, turning back an Amtrak proposal to fragment the service with a bus-bridge.

Your Rail Passengers Association--both staff, council and membership--has been hard at work over the past few months to ensure the National Network remains intact. We could not have secured today’s win without the help of key allies in the Senate--please join us in saying “thank you!”

Special thanks go to Senators in New Mexico, Kansas, and Colorado, who sponsored the Southwest Chief amendment.

Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Tom Udall (D-NM) filed the bipartisan amendment to maintain train service along the established Southwest Chief route, joined by cosponsors Pat Roberts (R-KS), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Michael F. Bennet (D-CO). Their work was also supported by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Kamala Harris (D-CA).

Importantly, the overall minibus funding bill was passed by a 92-6 vote, with no anti-Amtrak amendments filed--showing that the work our coalition is doing is having a positive effect. The bill includes $1.3 billion for Amtrak’s National Network, $650 million for the Northeast Corridor, $255 million for Consolidated Rail Infrastructure & Safety grants, $300 million for Federal State Partnership for State of Good Repair grants, and $10 million for Restoration grants. The bill also includes $9.9 billion for transit formula grants, $2.5 billion for rail transit grants, and $1 billion for BUILD grants.

Please join us in saying “thank you” to the senators who voted to pass this important legislation!