Home Open Account Help 258 users online

Passenger Trains > Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate


Date: 01/11/19 13:28
Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate
Author: ronald321

According to Rail Passengers (former NARP), Amtrak has a great funding bill for 2019, approved and finalized by both houses of Congress, but the Senate won't send it to the President because of the Wall dispute.

Here is whats in it:

$1.29 Billion for Amtrak's National Network
$ 650 Million for the Northeast Corridor
Total $1.94 Billion

Also, there is some new language in the bill which we train fans should be grateful for:

.  "it is the sense of Congress that...long distance passenger rail routes...should be sustained to insure connectivity throughout the National Network"
(This should make it a little harder for Anderson to drop LD trains).

.  $50 million is dedicated to "...enable continued passenger rail operations on long distance routes...on which Amtrak is the sole tenant of the host railroad and positive train control systems are not required by law".
(This saves the Chief from Anderson's 700 mile bus bridge - and maintains the Raton Route.

Also, Amtrak is directed to dedicate all profits from NEC trains (which Amtrak says is over $400 million per year) to the NEC.
(so, when this is added to the direct grant of $650 million, Amtrak will have over $1 Billion available for the NEC alone).
 



Date: 01/11/19 13:52
Re: Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate
Author: ProAmtrak

Yeah, can't wait to see how this all pans out, I'm still waiting for your "exciting" news about the dining car services, it's been a couple of months and nothing has panned out yet!



Date: 01/11/19 14:43
Re: Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate
Author: ronald321

I am also looking forward to this dining car announcement.-- very much so.

If you remember, the Head of NARP (Jim Mathews) had his meeting with Amtrak, who told him about their new plans for dining service - and they asked him not to reveal any details until they finalized contracts.

Mathews said he would honor Amtrak's request -  but he said we rail supporters are going to REALLY love it -- so much so, that he said he can hardly wait to tell us about it.

He said an announcement MIGHT come in January.

Intriguing, yes?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/19 18:33 by ronald321.



Date: 01/11/19 15:45
Re: Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate
Author: PRSL-recall

Thanks for the news Ronald. We're always ready and willing to see how it shakes out. As for the senate bill language it appears to be moving in the right direction inasmuch as it appears to be telling Amtrak what is expected rather than Amtrak telling individual Congressional officials what they are doing. I'm somewhat amused though about the 400 million linked with your wording "which Amtrak says". Makes you wonder if this is to "pull their bluff".  



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/19 15:46 by PRSL-recall.



Date: 01/11/19 17:53
Re: Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate
Author: another_view

ronald321 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> According to Rail Passengers (former NARP), Amtrak
> has a great funding bill for 2019, approved and
> finalized by both houses of Congress, but the
> Senate won't send it to the President because of
> the Wall dispute.
>
> Here is whats in it:
>
> $1.29 Billion for Amtrak's National Network
> $ 650 Million for the Northeast Corridor
> Total $1.94 Billion
>
> Also, there is some new language in the bill which
> we train fans should be grateful for:
>
> .  "it is the sense of Congress that...long
> distance passenger rail routes...should be
> sustained to insure connectivity throughout the
> National Network"
> (This should make it a little harder for Anderson
> to drop LD trains).
>
> .  $50 million is dedicated to "...enable
> continued passenger rail operations on long
> distance routes...on which Amtrak is the sole
> tenant of the host railroad and positive train
> control systems are not required by law".
> (This saves the Chief from Anderson's 700 mile bus
> bridge - and maintains the Raton Route.
>
> Also, Amtrak is directed to dedicate all profits
> from NEC trains (which Amtrak says is over $400
> million per year) to the NEC.
> (so, when this is added to the direct grant of
> $650 million, Amtrak will have over $1 Billion
> available for the NEC alone).
>  

Great news that the profits earned on the NEC must stay in the NEC!

Now, we need to get over the dining car issue. Sustainable food service is necessary, that does not mean dining at service. If you want dining car service, you need to pay for it.



Date: 01/11/19 18:02
Re: Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate
Author: MEKoch

Oh, Man!  Yippee!   I can't wait to see all the profits of the NEC.   It will be overwhelming..........



Date: 01/11/19 18:29
Re: Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate
Author: ronald321

I know the word "Profit" is controversial -- but we shouldn't get hung up on it.

If Congress considers the money generated by Corridor trains, as "Real Money" -- good enough to be dedicated to Corridor projects - and if contractors such as Herzog accepts payment for track work done on the Corridor from money generated by the trains themselves -- then this is just as good as "Profit", no matter what you prefer to call it..

In the back of my mind, I keep thinking -- god, with this kind of money, they should be able to at least replace Amfleet cars on the NEC.



Date: 01/11/19 18:31
Re: Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate
Author: Lackawanna484

My understanding is the "Amtrak bill" is part of the Department of Transportation budget, one of six budgets being held up.  It's not that difficult to understand.

Five major funding bills are being held up because the sixth, the Homeland Security bill, doesn't contain the $25 billion requested by the President for the wall.  So, the Forest Service, Weather Bureau,  Crop Reporting Service, National Parks and Zoo, Centers for Disease Control, IRS, Air Traffic Control, etc  lay off people and stop most tasks.  Even though there's no disagreement among the House, Senate and President about funding them at the proposed level. No disagreement at all.

One party has proposed passing the five bills, and engaging in a knock down, drag out debate on the DHS / wall / DACA / policy etc. Losing the leveraged of closed zoos, etc removes the urgency for a serious national debate on immigration policy.

Amtrak funding is a hostage, just like the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who aren't seeing a paycheck, but are being told to work.



Date: 01/11/19 18:39
Re: Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate
Author: Lackawanna484

ronald321 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I know the word "Profit" is controversial -- but
> we shouldn't get hung up on it.
>
> If Congress considers the money generated by
> Corridor trains, as "Real Money" -- good enough to
> be dedicated to Corridor projects - and if
> contractors such as Herzog accepts payment for
> track work done on the Corridor from money
> generated by the trains themselves -- then this is
> just as good as "Profit", no matter what you
> prefer to call it..
>
> In the back of my mind, I keep thinking -- god,
> with this kind of money, they should be able to at
> least replace Amfleet cars on the NEC.

Years ago maybe during the Clinton administration, there was a proposal to lease new cars to replace the Amfleets. Private investment pools would buy the new cars, and lease them to Amtrak. The investors would get cash payments, plus non-cash economic benefits like investment tax credits, depreciation, from their assets.  Most airlines lease a significant % of their planes in exactly this manner. So do tank car owners, box car owners, etc.

My recollection is the deal didn't go very far.  Unlike airlines, Amtrak's equipment utilization and revenue yield is very low, even on the NEC.  The cash coming in the door plus the non-cash items wouldn't cover the risk involved in acquiring new equipment.  I don't think the cost of labor was even an issue, nobody wanted to move on this.



Date: 01/11/19 19:55
Re: Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate
Author: another_view

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ronald321 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I know the word "Profit" is controversial --
> but
> > we shouldn't get hung up on it.
> >
> > If Congress considers the money generated by
> > Corridor trains, as "Real Money" -- good enough
> to
> > be dedicated to Corridor projects - and if
> > contractors such as Herzog accepts payment for
> > track work done on the Corridor from money
> > generated by the trains themselves -- then this
> is
> > just as good as "Profit", no matter what you
> > prefer to call it..
> >
> > In the back of my mind, I keep thinking -- god,
> > with this kind of money, they should be able to
> at
> > least replace Amfleet cars on the NEC.
>
> Years ago maybe during the Clinton administration,
> there was a proposal to lease new cars to replace
> the Amfleets. Private investment pools would buy
> the new cars, and lease them to Amtrak. The
> investors would get cash payments, plus non-cash
> economic benefits like investment tax credits,
> depreciation, from their assets.  Most airlines
> lease a significant % of their planes in exactly
> this manner. So do tank car owners, box car
> owners, etc.
>
> My recollection is the deal didn't go very far. 
> Unlike airlines, Amtrak's equipment utilization
> and revenue yield is very low, even on the NEC. 
> The cash coming in the door plus the non-cash
> items wouldn't cover the risk involved in
> acquiring new equipment.  I don't think the cost
> of labor was even an issue, nobody wanted to move
> on this.

Thank you, a great conclusion, the yield must improve to create a sustainable business. Everyone seems to understand this concept in the running of their own business or household. When it comes to Amtrak, it seems that most on this site expect Amtrak to operate half full trains at unsustainable prices, complaining about accounting systems that they know nothing about or understanding the legal requirements that put them in place.



Date: 01/11/19 20:35
Re: Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate
Author: Duna

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My understanding is the "Amtrak bill" is part of
> the Department of Transportation budget, one of
> six budgets being held up.  It's not that
> difficult to understand.
>
> Five major funding bills are being held up because
> the sixth, the Homeland Security bill, doesn't
> contain the $25 billion (sic) requested by the President
> for the wall.  So, the Forest Service, Weather
> Bureau,  Crop Reporting Service, National Parks
> and Zoo, Centers for Disease Control, IRS, Air
> Traffic Control, etc  lay off people and stop
> most tasks.  Even though there's no disagreement
> among the House, Senate and President about
> funding them at the proposed level. No
> disagreement at all.
>
> One party has proposed passing the five bills, and
> engaging in a knock down, drag out debate on the
> DHS / wall / DACA / policy etc. Losing the
> leveraged of closed zoos, etc removes the urgency
> for a serious national debate on immigration
> policy.
>
> Amtrak funding is a hostage, just like the
> hundreds of thousands of federal workers who
> aren't seeing a paycheck, but are being told to
> work.



The President has requested $5.7 billion for the border security wall, not $25 billion.

But you knew that.



Date: 01/12/19 00:53
Re: Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate
Author: GP25

Duna Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lackawanna484 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > My understanding is the "Amtrak bill" is part
> of
> > the Department of Transportation budget, one of
> > six budgets being held up.  It's not that
> > difficult to understand.
> >
> > Five major funding bills are being held up
> because
> > the sixth, the Homeland Security bill, doesn't
> > contain the $25 billion (sic) requested by the
> President
> > for the wall.  So, the Forest Service, Weather
> > Bureau,  Crop Reporting Service, National
> Parks
> > and Zoo, Centers for Disease Control, IRS, Air
> > Traffic Control, etc  lay off people and stop
> > most tasks.  Even though there's no
> disagreement
> > among the House, Senate and President about
> > funding them at the proposed level. No
> > disagreement at all.
> >
> > One party has proposed passing the five bills,
> and
> > engaging in a knock down, drag out debate on
> the
> > DHS / wall / DACA / policy etc. Losing the
> > leveraged of closed zoos, etc removes the
> urgency
> > for a serious national debate on immigration
> > policy.
> >
> > Amtrak funding is a hostage, just like the
> > hundreds of thousands of federal workers who
> > aren't seeing a paycheck, but are being told to
> > work.
>
>
>
> The President has requested $5.7 billion for the
> border security wall, not $25 billion.
>
> But you knew that.

Well. give it time. the wall would cost more then $25 Billion to build and to maintain 

Jerry Martin
Los Angeles, CA
Central Coast Railroad Festival



Date: 01/12/19 03:06
Re: Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate
Author: joemvcnj

The full wall buildout will cost at least $25 billion, take 11 years, and does not count eminent domain issues on private property. Future maintenance costs do not count the numerous tunneling systems that will take place underneath them to get around them. Congessman Will Hurd, whose district has 800 miles of Mexican border, opposes it as wasteful and ineffective.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/19 03:20 by joemvcnj.



Date: 01/12/19 04:39
Re: Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate
Author: gg1tim

Any chance that Amtrak will add a train from Chicago to Miami by way of Tampa? I know there was a train before Amtrak that ran from Chicago to Miami. With all that money I hope it may be possible.



Date: 01/12/19 05:22
Re: Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate
Author: Lackawanna484

gg1tim Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Any chance that Amtrak will add a train from
> Chicago to Miami by way of Tampa? I know there was
> a train before Amtrak that ran from Chicago to
> Miami. With all that money I hope it may be
> possible.

There are a few older threads on possible schedules, track to be restored, etc. And, then there's the equipment issue.

Posted from Android



Date: 01/12/19 05:29
Re: Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate
Author: FloridaTrainGuy

ronald321 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I am also looking forward to this dining car
> announcement.-- very much so.
>
> If you remember, the Head of NARP (Jim Mathews)
> had his meeting with Amtrak, who told him about
> their new plans for dining service - and they
> asked him not to reveal any details until they
> finalized contracts.
>
> Mathews said he would honor Amtrak's request - 
> but he said we rail supporters are going to REALLY
> love it -- so much so, that he said he can hardly
> wait to tell us about it.
>
> He said an announcement MIGHT come in January.
>
> Intriguing, yes?

Very intriguing but why did they just introduce all new menus???



Date: 01/12/19 08:09
Re: Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate
Author: Duna

GP25 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Duna Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Lackawanna484 Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > My understanding is the "Amtrak bill" is part
> > of
> > > the Department of Transportation budget, one
> of
> > > six budgets being held up.  It's not that
> > > difficult to understand.
> > >
> > > Five major funding bills are being held up
> > because
> > > the sixth, the Homeland Security bill,
> doesn't
> > > contain the $25 billion (sic) requested by
> the
> > President
> > > for the wall.  So, the Forest Service,
> Weather
> > > Bureau,  Crop Reporting Service, National
> > Parks
> > > and Zoo, Centers for Disease Control, IRS,
> Air
> > > Traffic Control, etc  lay off people and
> stop
> > > most tasks.  Even though there's no
> > disagreement
> > > among the House, Senate and President about
> > > funding them at the proposed level. No
> > > disagreement at all.
> > >
> > > One party has proposed passing the five
> bills,
> > and
> > > engaging in a knock down, drag out debate on
> > the
> > > DHS / wall / DACA / policy etc. Losing the
> > > leveraged of closed zoos, etc removes the
> > urgency
> > > for a serious national debate on immigration
> > > policy.
> > >
> > > Amtrak funding is a hostage, just like the
> > > hundreds of thousands of federal workers who
> > > aren't seeing a paycheck, but are being told
> to
> > > work.
> >
> >
> >
> > The President has requested $5.7 billion for
> the
> > border security wall, not $25 billion.
> >
> > But you knew that.
>
> Well. give it time. the wall would cost more then
> $25 Billion to build and to maintain 


So, for the railfan, that warrants throwing out fake numbers.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/19 08:41 by Duna.



Date: 01/12/19 11:39
Re: Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate
Author: ATSF3751

Duna Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> GP25 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Duna Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > Lackawanna484 Wrote:
> > >
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> >
> > > -----
> > > > My understanding is the "Amtrak bill" is
> part
> > > of
> > > > the Department of Transportation budget,
> one
> > of
> > > > six budgets being held up.  It's not that
> > > > difficult to understand.
> > > >
> > > > Five major funding bills are being held up
> > > because
> > > > the sixth, the Homeland Security bill,
> > doesn't
> > > > contain the $25 billion (sic) requested by
> > the
> > > President
> > > > for the wall.  So, the Forest Service,
> > Weather
> > > > Bureau,  Crop Reporting Service, National
> > > Parks
> > > > and Zoo, Centers for Disease Control, IRS,
> > Air
> > > > Traffic Control, etc  lay off people and
> > stop
> > > > most tasks.  Even though there's no
> > > disagreement
> > > > among the House, Senate and President about
> > > > funding them at the proposed level. No
> > > > disagreement at all.
> > > >
> > > > One party has proposed passing the five
> > bills,
> > > and
> > > > engaging in a knock down, drag out debate
> on
> > > the
> > > > DHS / wall / DACA / policy etc. Losing the
> > > > leveraged of closed zoos, etc removes the
> > > urgency
> > > > for a serious national debate on
> immigration
> > > > policy.
> > > >
> > > > Amtrak funding is a hostage, just like the
> > > > hundreds of thousands of federal workers
> who
> > > > aren't seeing a paycheck, but are being
> told
> > to
> > > > work.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > The President has requested $5.7 billion for
> > the
> > > border security wall, not $25 billion.
> > >
> > > But you knew that.
> >
> > Well. give it time. the wall would cost more
> then
> > $25 Billion to build and to maintain 
>
>
> So, for the railfan, that warrants throwing out
> fake numbers.

There was a $25 billion proposal on the table for increased border security which included increased funding for enchanced fence, security personel, and updated technology. Got caught up in MAGA's inability to keep his promises after making a deal for DACA. There was a deal in which President Jello would exchange $$ for DACA. He blinked first after his rightwing base exploded in anger over DACA. The Dems withdrew the offer of course.



Date: 01/12/19 13:47
Re: Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate
Author: 79mph

MEKoch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Oh, Man!  Yippee!   I can't wait to see all the
> profits of the NEC.   It will be
> overwhelming..........

Second that emotion.
But until Congress steps in, there will still be cost-shifting to the NEC from elsewhere.
Not opposed to this happening, as without the rich states chipping in money, places like Montana, Utah, and Kansas would never have gotten any interstate highways.
The list goes on.  That is the beauty of a union of states...the weathy can ship in to help out the poor.
But Amtrak should be transparent about it and finally start using some real world accounting procecures that can easily be understood by the public and by policy makers.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/19 14:20 by 79mph.



Date: 01/14/19 13:24
Re: Here' whats in the Amtrak bill being held up in the Senate
Author: Lurch_in_ABQ

"...Amtrak is directed to dedicate all profits from NEC trains (which Amtrak says is over $400 million per year) to the NEC...."
 
I'm eager to liquidate my equity index fund positions and go all-in on Amtrak NEC Inc's IPO. 



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.216 seconds