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Passenger Trains > Amtrak and a government shutdown


Date: 04/05/11 20:32
Amtrak and a government shutdown
Author: lowwater

If the government shuts down on Friday, anybody know what happens to Amtrak?? I can't find anything.



Date: 04/05/11 20:48
Re: Amtrak and a government shutdown
Author: KansasCityChief

amtrak still runs so does the ATC , military



Date: 04/05/11 20:55
Re: Amtrak and a government shutdown
Author: lowwater

KansasCityChief Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> amtrak still runs so does the ATC , military


All of it? Just the NEC? Source??

IIRC in 1995 AMTK was shut down for at least the second one, at least the LD trains. I could easily be wrong.



Date: 04/05/11 21:03
Re: Amtrak and a government shutdown
Author: Macster

lowwater Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> KansasCityChief Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > amtrak still runs so does the ATC , military
>
>
> All of it? Just the NEC? Source??
>
> IIRC in 1995 AMTK was shut down for at least the
> second one, at least the LD trains. I could easily
> be wrong.

That is what I was thinking as well? Huh, must be true if we are both thinking the same thing.



Date: 04/05/11 22:30
Re: Amtrak and a government shutdown
Author: NGotwalt

I don't see why. Amtrak employees are employees of a private company (Amtrak), it just happens that companies majority stock holder is the US Dept. of Transportation. Still Amtrak has never been integrated into the government as a federal agency. Having said all that, the truth is I do not know, there very well could be some clause that cause them to shut down parts of the system.
Nick



Date: 04/05/11 23:47
Re: Amtrak and a government shutdown
Author: Highspeed

KansasCityChief Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> amtrak still runs so does the ATC , military


Not so quick there, KCC.

The last shut down, yes the military did NOT suffer at all. This shut down, however, will create military pain. The Department of Defense is planning NO PAYCHECKS for the military during a shutdown, however all uniformed personnel will be REQUIRED to report as normal. Non-essential civilian employees will be furloughed.

It will be a mess!



Date: 04/06/11 05:26
Re: Amtrak and a government shutdown
Author: DavidP

Amtrak is a separate corporation owned by the US government. Part of it's income is an annual operating subsidy from the USDOT. I don't know when this paid - all at once, or incrementally throughout the year. I would expect it's the latter, in which case Amtrak management has to plan for a sudden drop in income, which could impact their ability to meet expenses. If they anticipate this scenario developing, they would likely take steps to conserve cash, which could include curtailing service. So while there's not a direct link between Amtrak operations and furloughing of Federal employees, if the (in)action in Washington continues for a while, its not unreasonable to expect Amtrak will be affected.

Logistics aside though, one could argue that closing Amtrak property to all users (think NEC) would create a lot of public pressure from the Northeast to get the issue resolved.

Dave



Date: 04/06/11 06:00
Re: Amtrak and a government shutdown
Author: Lackawanna484

DavidP Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Amtrak is a separate corporation owned by the US
> government. Part of it's income is an annual
> operating subsidy from the USDOT. I don't know
> when this paid - all at once, or incrementally
> throughout the year. I would expect it's the
> latter, in which case Amtrak management has to
> plan for a sudden drop in income, which could
> impact their ability to meet expenses. If they
> anticipate this scenario developing, they would
> likely take steps to conserve cash, which could
> include curtailing service. So while there's not
> a direct link between Amtrak operations and
> furloughing of Federal employees, if the
> (in)action in Washington continues for a while,
> its not unreasonable to expect Amtrak will be
> affected.
>
> Logistics aside though, one could argue that
> closing Amtrak property to all users (think NEC)
> would create a lot of public pressure from the
> Northeast to get the issue resolved.
>
> Dave


Part of the continuing resolution calls for a reduction in the amounts paid to Amtrak for the remainder of the fiscal year which ends in September. Whether that makes it into a bill, and if that bill is enacted, is still an open question.

Congress failed to enact a budget by last September when both houses of the congress were controlled by one party. When the houses went into divided control in November, there still wasn't a budget. The sharp differences within each party's members, and the differences between the two parties make an agreement tough to achieve now.



Date: 04/06/11 08:22
Re: Amtrak and a government shutdown
Author: shoretower

The situation with Amtrak (and with the Postal Service, and many government agencies) is complicated. Amtrak does receive its subsidy a quarter at a time and of course, has income from ticket revenues and other sources as well. Whether Amtrak shuts down will probably depend mostly on its cash flow situation -- when it received the last subsidy payment, and when bills come due.

The likelihood is that any shutdown will last only days, rather than weeks. The Postal Service and any other government agencies with their own income streams will not shut down. For example, since Highway Trust Fund gas tax revenue keeps coming in, most of my friends at the Federal Highway Administration will keep working.

In my office, some of us are paid from "transportation planning R&D" funds, which are "no year" money that has accumulated over several years, and thus we'll be able to continue working for weeks even when the government shuts down. Others paid from specific pots of capital funding are in similar positions. But lots of stuff the public counts on -- national parks, museums -- will close, as will most of USDOT.

It is a mess, I'm tired of not knowing what the budget will be, and I wish Congress would get its act together and do something.



Date: 04/06/11 11:21
Re: Amtrak and a government shutdown
Author: cutboy2

NARP says they run a few weeks.



Date: 04/06/11 18:17
Re: Amtrak and a government shutdown
Author: ProRail

lowwater Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> KansasCityChief Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > amtrak still runs so does the ATC , military
>
>
> All of it? Just the NEC? Source??
>
> IIRC in 1995 AMTK was shut down for at least the
> second one, at least the LD trains. I could easily
> be wrong.

Why should the NEC be any different fom the rest of AMTRAK?



Date: 04/07/11 17:38
Re: Amtrak and a government shutdown
Author: lowwater

ProRail Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> lowwater Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > KansasCityChief Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > amtrak still runs so does the ATC , military
> >
> >
> > All of it? Just the NEC? Source??
> >
> > IIRC in 1995 AMTK was shut down for at least
> the
> > second one, at least the LD trains. I could
> easily
> > be wrong.
>
> Why should the NEC be any different fom the rest
> of AMTRAK?

It covers its operating costs (supposedly).



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