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Rail News: Amtrak

Amtrak proposes $1.67 billion FY09 budget

Amtrak recently submitted a $1.67 billion fiscal-year 2009 budget request to Congress that includes $801 million for capital investments, $525 million for operating expenses and $345 million for debt service.

Amtrak’s FY09 capital plans include replacing the Niantic River Bridge in Connecticut, implementing fire and life safety programs in the New York tunnels, reconstructing interlockings and track switches, improving overhead cateneary and upgrading track in the Northeast Corridor. The railroad also plans to continue upgrading its fleet.

Amtrak also identified a needed $114 million congressional appropriation to fund the balance of retroactive pay to be given to workers in the coming fiscal year. In January, Amtrak reached labor agreements with nine unions that requires the railroad to provide pay retroactive from Jan. 1, 2000.

The railroad is seeking slightly more than its FY08 request of $1.5 billion because of higher labor and health insurance costs, and fuel prices.

In FY08, Amtrak received $1.3 billion appropriation. Earlier this month, the Bush Administration proposed earmarking $800 million for the railroad.

Angela Cotey

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/28/2008