Lawmakers Worry Amtrak Potentially Helping Illegal Immigrants Cross Border

Lawmakers sent a letter to Amtrak Wednesday requesting a briefing as well as all documents related to how taxpayer subsidized Amtrak may be used to transfer illegal immigrants across the border.

The Republicans on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee signed the letter, led by railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Ranking Member Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark.

Read More

Legislators Announce Formation of ‘Train Travel Caucus’ in Support of Expanding Taxpayer-Subsidized Amtrak into Tennessee

During the House floor session Thursday, legislators announced the formation of the Train Travel Caucus in the Tennessee General Assembly, in support of expanding the taxpayer-subsidized National Railroad Passenger Corporation, known as Amtrak, into Tennessee.

The announcement came from a Democrat lawmaker, Representative Jason Powell (D-Nashville), who is the House sponsor of HB2278. The bill directs the Tennessee Advisory Council on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) to study within its existing resources the cost, feasibility and infrastructure of expanding railroad passenger service in the state through the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak.

Read More

Virginia Amtrak Returns to Pre-Pandemic Service Levels in Virginia with New Route Extension into Downtown Richmond

The last of three Amtrak Virginia trains that were suspended due to the pandemic is open again, with a new extension to the Main Street Station in downtown Richmond. Governor Ralph Northam and rail officials announced the reopening and expansion of Northeast Regional Route 51 as part of Northam’s Transforming Rail in Virginia program. Northam held his press conference as the first train departed Main Street Station at 5:35 a.m. Monday.

“If you’ve ever been stuck on I-95, you know we can’t pave our way out of congestion,” Northam said.

Read More

Public May Not See Net Benefit of Infrastructure Bill That Could Expand Rail in Northeastern Pennsylvania

Much fanfare surrounding infrastructure legislation in Congress focuses on road and bridge improvements, but the bill’s implications for relatively costly rail transit in northeastern Pennsylvania and elsewhere have gotten far less attention.

The current proposal to spend $66 billion on Amtrak would be the largest federal expenditure on passenger rail since the creation of the transit agency.

Read More

Northam Announces Western Rail Initiative to Provide Washington-to-Roanoke Passenger Train

The New River Valley will have passenger rail service by 2025 for the first time since 1979, thanks to the new $257.2 million Western Rail Initiative announced by Governor Ralph Northam on Wednesday. The initiative is part of an agreement with Norfolk Southern. Northam said the passenger service would boost tourism and economic growth.

Read More

Northam, Beyer and Buttigieg Announce $3.7 Billion Transforming Rail in Virginia Initiative

New U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Congressman Don Beyer (D-Virginia-08) joined Governor Ralph Northam at Alexandria’s Amtrak station Tuesday. Northam announced a partnership with Amtrak, CSX and the Virginia Rail Express (VRE).  The partnership includes a $3.7 billion investment into expanding infrastructure, funded by Amtrak, state, and regional partners.

Read More

Republicans Want to Know Whether Amtrak Have Any Perks to Biden

Republicans on the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee want to know whether Amtrak gave Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden special treatment.

In a letter to Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer William Flynn, the lawmakers ask whether the former vice president’s use of a chartered Amtrak train for a recent campaign trip disrupted Amtrak service or interfered with freight train operations. They also want to know how many employees were “taken off their regular duties to staff the Biden campaign charter train, including any overtime hours worked.”

Read More