WASHINGTON –“The development of intercity passenger rail and Amtrak’s national system should be afforded a significant role in the nation’s federal surface transportation programs,” said Joe McHugh, Amtrak vice president for government affairs and corporate communications in written testimony recently provided to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads.
As America’s intercity passenger railroad and its only current operator of high-speed service, Amtrak believes the rail section of the new federal surface transportation bill now being developed by Congress should include these top five priorities:
— Provide dedicated, multi-year funding for intercity and high-speed rail
— Establish a national investment strategy
— Create a clear and leading role for Amtrak
— Dnsure coordinated corridor planning and project execution
— Address liability and insurance issues.
McHugh added that “[i]f our nation’s intercity passenger rail system – and the transportation system of the United States as a whole – is to be developed and sustained, it is imperative that Amtrak and other federal rail programs be integrated into a comprehensive and truly multi-modal surface transportation authorization bill.”