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Midwest business execs form passenger-rail advocacy group


Midwestern business leaders recently teamed up to advocate increased federal passenger-rail investment, and higher speed and higher quality regional intercity passenger-rail service in the Midwest.

Comprising 50 businesses in the region, the Midwest Business Coalition for Passenger Rail aims to preserve and improve the region’s passenger-rail service, highlight the importance of a successful passenger-rail system to competitive business climates and regional economies, and ensure federal funding for rail improvements.

The coalition also is monitoring the Bush Administration’s proposal to eliminate federal funding for Amtrak in fiscal-year 2006 and shift operational responsibilities to states.

"The federal government has a responsibility to promote interstate commerce," said Pete Beitzel, president of coalition member Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, in a prepared statement. "While we are all open to improving Amtrak, shifting the financial burden to states will lead to chaos and shutdown."

Coalition members plan to lobby the Midwest Congressional delegation for increased federal funding for intercity rail.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/27/2005