Monday, September 15, 2008

News: Durbin pushing investment in Amtrak system

Source: Chicago Tribune

Amtrak ridership nationally is booming, seats are sold out on many routes through Illinois and the cash-strapped national passenger railroad is limping along the tracks with 35-year-old coaches and baggage cars dating to the Eisenhower presidency.

That's the predicament Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) lashed out at Wednesday as he called for a major reinvestment in Amtrak service and reviving rail-car manufacturing in the U.S. to create thousands of jobs.

Amtrak ticket sales indicate that the public appetite for inter-city rail service frequently outstrips the supply of trains, due in part to gas prices hitting record levels this year and, looking ahead, airline cutbacks already sending airfares soaring for the Thanksgiving and winter travel periods.

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