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7/28/2003



Rail News: Amtrak

House appropriations committee recommends Amtrak FY04 budget, but more funds needed, national passenger railroad says


On June 24, the House appropriations committee recommended a $900 million fiscal-year 2004 budget for Amtrak — a significant increase compared with the $580 million a House appropriations subcommittee recently approved, but still half the national passenger railroad’s requested $1.8 billion.

A lower-than-requested appropriation would cause the railroad to shut down, Amtrak officials have warned.

"For too long, this company deferred maintenance on its plant and equipment," said Amtrak President David Gunn in a prepared statement. "The work has to begin now. This railroad simply cannot continue to operate without an adequate maintenance budget."

In April, Amtrak released to Congress a five-year strategic capital investment and operating plan that detailed needed repairs to the systems infrastructure, facilities and other assets.

The plan also outlines funding needed through FY2008 to help fund capital investments and operating needs.

The House’s $900 million budget proposal is consistent with the Bush Administration’s recommendation.


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