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Rail News: Passenger Rail

States for Passenger Rail Coalition hopes to rally congressional support


This week, States for Passenger Rail Coalition Chairman David King is testifying before both houses of Congress to stress the need for federal funding for passenger rail improvements.

The coalition is asking Congress to:

• authorize $1.8 billion in tax credit bonds and $550 million in general funds during the next three years for state-sponsored infrastructure, equipment and station improvement;

• fund a pool of new equipment jointly administered by U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and states;

• adopt legislation to help address the security needs of the rail industry;

• increase funding for grade crossing safety improvements;

• direct the USDOT to conduct studies on public access and cost allocation issues as needed for infrastructure and service improvements; and

• develop a fair and equitable solution to address liability concerns of multiple railroad organizations operating in the same area.

"For years the states have been investing in railroad crossing safety improvements, purchasing passenger equipment and renovating or building multi-modal stations," said King in a prepared statement. "But we cannot do it alone. We need a strong federal partner if we are to move forward and improve our nation’s passenger rail system."

States for Passenger Rail Coalition is an organization comprising 24 states working together to develop, improve and expand passenger-rail service. The group has been working to develop support in Congress to create a federal funding program for state-sponsored projects to enhance inter-city passenger rail service.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/30/2003