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House Appropriators used report language accompanying their planned Tuesday markup of the Fiscal 2020 Transportation-HUD money bill to chastise Amtrak for ignoring congressional intent on customer-facing issues like station agents and long-distance trains, and strongly supported maintaining a truly national long-distance network that improves transportation options for rural areas and serves stations staffed with station agents. Lawmakers also faulted the Dept. of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration for foot-dragging on grants, for adding conditions contrary to congressional direction, and for setting up new Amtrak grant conditions that would give FRA outsize influence in Amtrak’s capital decisions.
Reinforcing support for a truly national system, appropriators wrote that "the Committee strongly reminds Amtrak that section 24701 of title 49, United States Code, requires Amtrak to operate a national passenger rail system. Further,
This article first appeared on www.railpassengers.org
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