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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Bill ARRIVEs in Senate


Last week, Sens. Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) and Joe Biden (D-Del.) introduced to the Senate legislation designed to revitalize the country’s rail system.

American Railroad Revitalization, Investment and Enhancement Act, or ARRIVE-21 (S. 1961), would provide funds to strengthen Amtrak, and enable states to invest in intercity and high-speed passenger rail service, and freight rail projects that deliver public benefits, according to a prepared statement.

The bill would invest $42 billion during the next six years in rail infrastructure. It also would create Rail Infrastructure Finance Corp. (RIFCO), a public-private partnership that would issue $30 billion in tax-credit bonds to fund infrastructure development.

RIFCO would be authorized to provide grants to states and Amtrak for capital investments such as planning, rehabilitation and upgrades, safety and security projects, equipment acquisition, station improvements and intermodal facilities.

The bill also would provide an average of $1.5 billion annually for Amtrak during the next six years.

"For passenger rail to be successful, its infrastructure must be developed through the kind of bold federal leadership we exercised for our other modes of transportation," said Hollings, ranking member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/3/2003