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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Feds refinance Amtrak debt


Last week, the United States treasury and transportation departments announced a refinancing agreement between the federal government and Amtrak that is projected to save taxpayers about $162 million.

The national intercity passenger railroad has accumulated a large amount of debt that’s paid by the government through Amtrak’s annual appropriation, according to the departments. The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 enabled the Treasury Department to study ways to repay or restructure Amtrak’s debt to save money for taxpayers and the railroad.

Under terms of the agreement, the government will exercise early buyout options on 13 existing high-cost leases during the next three years. The buyouts will cost $420 million up front, but will save about $582 million in future payments, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/18/2010