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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Teamsters call for Amtrak designation as Northeast Corridor's HSR operator


Delegates to the Teamsters 28th International Convention in Las Vegas last week passed a resolution in support of high-speed rail (HSR) and “the union jobs that should go with it,” according to a prepared statement.

The resolution was drafted in response to a recent proposal by Reps. John Mica (R-Fla.) and Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) to remove Amtrak as the Northeast Corridor’s operator in lieu of a private operator that would develop HSR in the corridor.

Teamsters officials rebuked Mica, who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, as well as other politicians who want to privatize Amtrak, according to the statement. Mica’s proposal “would give away America’s most successful rail corridor to his political friends, and provide them with massive government subsidies,” Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division President Freddie Simpson said.

“There is no tax savings to the American people in this scheme,” he said. “It will not produce improved passenger service, good-paying jobs or economic growth. But it will transfer our tax dollars into the pockets of Wall Street speculators and corporate profiteers.”

The measure passed with full support from the Teamsters Rail Conference’s 70,000 members, according to the union.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/5/2011