Senators introduce $9B Amtrak bill after deadly crash

Two senators are introducing legislation to spend nearly $9 billion on Amtrak after a deadly crash last month reignited a debate in Washington about the company’s federal funding.

The measure, which is sponsored by Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), calls for spending approximately $1.65 billion annually over the next four years on the rail service, as well as $570 million per year on rail grants.

The introduction of the “Railroad Reform, Enhancement, and Efficiency Act” comes one month after an Amtrak train derailed near Philadelphia in a crash that killed eight passengers.

Wicker and Booker said it was important to give Amtrak funding to make safety improvements, especially on its heavily traveled tracks in the Northeast Corridor.

“The nation’s passenger rail system serves as an integral part of our overall transportation structure and our economy,” Wicker said in a statement.

The Hill

6/18/15