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Rail News: Amtrak

President signs off on bill to fund Amtrak at FY06 level

Yesterday, President Bush signed a resolution that continues to fund most federal programs, and Amtrak, at fiscal-year 2006 levels through Sept. 30.

The national intercity passenger railroad will receive $1.3 billion in FY2007, well below the railroad’s $1.6 billion basic request and $1.9 billion full request. Amtrak’s full request included $100 million for a U.S. Department of Transportation-administered state corridor development program; $100 million for debt reduction; $50 million to help freight railroads address chokepoints that cause passenger-train delays; and $25 million for Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.

The Senate passed the resolution on Wednesday; the House approved the bill Jan. 31. The federal programs previously had been funded at FY2006 levels under a continuing resolution that expired yesterday. The federal fiscal year began Oct. 1.

Meanwhile, the president is expected to sign a full-year appropriations bill that will fund the federal transit program at $8.97 billion — the level authorized under SAFETEA-LU.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/16/2007