Amtrak Financial Improvements Could Lead to Enhanced Funding

Amtrak lost $361 million in 2012, the lowest loss in 38 years. In statements by Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman that is good news that will help him make his case to Congress for a boost in capital investment.

“We think the numbers are right. Now it’s time to start talking about what policies we want,” said Boardman.

Boardman expects to get his opportunity later this year, when Congress is expected to take up a reauthorization of rail programs. The current authorization expires in September.

“I hope I get called up there to start talking about that,” said Boardman, who has argued that Congress has starved the agency of investment in significant capital improvements that could set the railroad on a self-sustaining track.

The national passenger railroad announced a slew of improvements planned in the year ahead, including an upgrade to higher-speed on-board Internet access for passengers, as well as purchases of new electric locomotives and passenger cars to replace rolling stock that, in come cases, has been in use since the 1940s.

“Now is the time to make Amtrak a world Class high-speed rail carrier,” said TCU President Bob Scardelletti. “Amtrak needs a Long term funding source and we are pleased to see Amtrak working to get it.”

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