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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

GOP platform calls for ending Amtrak, high-speed rail funding

Yesterday at their national convention in Tampa, Fla., Republicans approved a party platform that calls for ending federal funding for Amtrak and high-speed rail, and allocating more federal transportation dollars for highway projects instead of other transportation options, such as public transit, bicycling and pedestrian programs, according to national news reports.

The platform includes many measures that Republicans on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee pushed for during negotiations on the new, two-year $105 billion transportation bill that was enacted earlier this summer, news reports stated.

In particular, the platform takes a tough stance on Amtrak, calling it an “extremely expensive railroad.”

“It is long past time for the federal government to get out of the way and allow private ventures to provide passenger service to the Northeast Corridor,” The Hill newspaper quoted from the platform. “The same holds true with regard to high-speed and intercity rail across the country.”

Republicans also plan to end federal funding for other transportation projects, such as Detroit’s planned $137 million Woodward Avenue streetcar project, the Detroit News reported on its website.

Earlier this month, Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for president, said in a Fortune interview that his deficit-cutting plans included eliminating Amtrak’s federal subsidy.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/29/2012