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Rail News: Amtrak

Amtrak, 19 states reach agreements to preserve rail routes


With the state of Indiana now on board, Amtrak has negotiated contracts with 19 state transportation departments and other entities to increase state control and funding of 28 current passenger-rail routes.

The railroad is now "poised to move forward with state partners to further expand and improve the intercity passenger rail network," Amtrak officials said in a press release.

"We thank these state leaders who have sent a strong message in favor of Amtrak service and the need to offer multiple mobility options for the traveling public across their regions," said President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Boardman.

States with state-supported Amtrak service have been renegotiating their contracts as required under a 2008 federal law that called for supporting Amtrak routes of less than 750 miles. Earlier this week, the Indiana DOT — the last of the 19 state DOTs to complete negotiations — announced an agreement, which secured continuing service on the Amtrak Hoosier State line operating  between Indianapolis and Chicago.

Also signing agreements were public entities in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

"These state-supported services are vital links in the Amtrak national network that bring value, connectivity, economic development and jobs to states and local communities," said Amtrak Chairman Tony Coscia.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/17/2013