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Rail News: Amtrak

Trump's FY2019 budget would slash Amtrak funding


President Donald Trump yesterday proposed a fiscal-year 2019 budget that would cut in half the subsidy for Amtrak passenger-rail service.

The proposal is similar to one that the Trump administration called for last year, but Congress didn't pass it.

The latest budget blueprint calls for cutting grants to Amtrak's national network from about $1.2 billion to $538 million for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.

In addition, the budget would cut grants to the Northeast Corridor from $328 million to $200 million.

Amtrak issued the following statement in reaction to the budget proposal:

"While we have not yet seen the details, we are concerned that any dramatic cuts could negatively impact the more than 31 million people who depend on Amtrak across the nation, in 46 states and more than 500 communities large and small. Amtrak is focused on running efficiently — covering 94.7 percent of our total network operating costs through ticket sales and other revenues in FY17 — but these services all currently rely on some level of federal investment.

"As the budget process progresses, we look forward to working with the administration, Congress, state partners and other stakeholders to consider these proposals and the impacts they could have on this important part of the nation's transportation system."