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11/17/2003



Rail News: Amtrak

$1.2 billion tentatively approved for Amtrak in FY04




On Nov. 12, a House and Senate conference committee approved a $1.2 billion appropriation for Amtrak in fiscal-year 2004.

The appropriation is $600 million less than the $1.8 billion Amtrak President David Gunn says the national passenger railroad needs to fund improvements, which were outlined in Gunn’s five-year strategic capital investment and operating plan released in April. But the appropriation defers repayment of a $100 million loan.

"This number will allow us to continue to operate the national system," said Gunn in a prepared statement. "However, we will have to assess the impact of this funding level on our current budget over the next month or so."

The Senate had approved $1.35 billion for Amtrak in FY2004; the House, $900 million. The House and Senate now will review the conference agreement for final approval.



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