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4/24/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Small-road infrastructure-funding bill heads to Senate for full vote


Railroad Track Modernization Act of 2001 (S. 1220) April 18 was marked up by the Senate's Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which ordered that the bill (with amendments) be sent to the full Senate for a vote.
S. 1220 (or H.R. 1020 in the House) would authorize U.S. Department of Transportation to appropriate $350 million for each fiscal year 2002 through 2004 to Class IIs and IIIs, enabling those railroads to use funds to rehabilitate, preserve or improve track — especially for 286k-related projects.
Both the House and Senate might vote on the bill during the current congressional session, which adjourns Oct. 4. And that would be good news for budget-challenged short lines and regionals.
"We believe it'll get voted on in this session," says American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association President Frank Turner, who had planned to retire from ASLRRA next month, but now expects to remain with the organization until mid-July. "But this is only an appropriation bill, so the earliest railroads would see any funds would be sometime next year."
Jeff Stagl


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