Tags: Biden Administration | railroads | infrastructure | biden

Western, Midwest Cities Hope 'Amtrak Joe' Will Rebuild US Rail Lines

joe biden campaigns in front of an amtrak train
Joe Biden speaks during a campaign stop at Pittsburgh Union Station September 30, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pa., (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 24 January 2021 02:42 PM

Cities from Chicago to Billings, Montana are hoping “Amtrak Joe” will help fund a new rail service to replace the passenger train service that was scrapped decades ago, the New York Times reported.

For example, the North Coast Hiawatha used to travel between Chicago and Seattle, and its loss means some people in the southern Missouri now have to travel 175 miles to get on a plane or to get medical services, the Times reported.

“Rural communities see it as an economic development opportunity but also as a social lifeline for residents who might not have any other means to travel long distances for necessities,” David Strohmaier, a Missoula County commissioner, said of a new Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority that aims to raise money to lobby for a return to passenger rail, the Times reported.

President Joe Biden — nicknamed “Amtrak Joe” because of his own admiration for train travel — has created an infrastructure plan that promises to “spark the second great railroad revolution,” the Times noted. His nominee for transportation secretary, Pete Buttigieg, told the Times he believes the department “should promote, help to develop, and fund passenger rail in order to bring America’s railroads into the 21st century.”

The prospect is exciting for passenger train advocates and small communities, the Times reported.

“[I]t feels like the stars are starting to align. We might get an honest-to-God infrastructure bill and that could mean money for expansion,” Sean Jeans-Gail, vice president for policy and government affairs for the Rail Passengers Association, told the news outlet.

But it’s not just Montanan who’s looking forward to more rail service. There is research and planning underway to provide Amtrak service along Colorado’s Front Range; new service between Mobile, Ala., and New Orleans; and additional service between Chicago and St. Paul, Minn., the Times reported.

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Politics
Cities from Chicago to Billings, Montana are hoping "Amtrak Joe" will help fund a new rail service to replace the passenger train service that was scrapped decades ago, the New York Times reported....
railroads, infrastructure, biden
301
2021-42-24
Sunday, 24 January 2021 02:42 PM
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