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5/27/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Mineta to Gunn: Implement cost-cutting, cash-conservation measures immediately



Yesterday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta sent a letter to Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer David Gunn urging him to immediately implement cost-cutting measures to address the national passenger railroad’s deteriorating financial position.

As Amtrak enters the last quarter of fiscal-year 2005, Mineta recommended that Gunn reduce expenses and conserve cash.

After hearing Gunn’s May 12 testimony before Senate subcommittees, Mineta became concerned that Gunn is counting on receiving $60 million that has been reserved in case Amtrak runs out of operating dollars.

"It is irresponsible to project a positive cash balance based on an assumption about reserved funds," Mineta wrote.

Mineta also noted that the railroad cannot continue to spend dollars at current levels because the suspension of Acela Express service, which won’t resume until summer, is costing the company $1.25 million per week.


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