$66 billion for Amtrak

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

TC_NYC

Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Messages
111
Location
Tri-Cities, Washington

The Senate voted to move forward on a bipartisan infrastructure bill after weeks of negotiations on Wednesday, clearing a key procedural hurdle on a bill that includes $550 billion in new spending for infrastructure projects around the country.

  • $40 billion for bridge repair, replacement and rehabilitation
  • $66 billion investment in Amtrak passenger rail
  • $39 billion for modernizing public transit and improving access for the elderly and people with disabilities
  • $55 billion for clean water investments
  • $65 billion in broadband internet deployment
  • $7.5 billion to build electric vehicle chargers nationwide

Looks like Biden's Infrastructure bill has passed and it includes $66 billion in funding for Amtrak. This is quite a significant investment, in the Obama Stimulus (ARRA) in 09 Amtrak only received $1.8 billion. Will some of this funding be going towards the huge investment needed to replace the Amfleet 1s?
 

AmtrakBlue

Engineer
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
13,021
Location
Delaware




Looks like Biden's Infrastructure bill has passed and it includes $66 billion in funding for Amtrak. This is quite a significant investment, in the Obama Stimulus (ARRA) in 09 Amtrak only received $1.8 billion. Will some of this funding be going towards the huge investment needed to replace the Amfleet 1s?
It has not passed. It has only move forward - for debating.
 

PaTrainFan

OBS Chief
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
526
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa.




Looks like Biden's Infrastructure bill has passed and it includes $66 billion in funding for Amtrak. This is quite a significant investment, in the Obama Stimulus (ARRA) in 09 Amtrak only received $1.8 billion. Will some of this funding be going towards the huge investment needed to replace the Amfleet 1s?
It hasn't passed yet. This was just a procedural vote to allow it to continue to consideration. Long, long way to go, not to mention they'll have to reconcile a House version. In addition Pelosi is playing chicken by saying she won't consider this bill until the she gets the second stimulus that addresses the more social aspects. I suspect she'll give in on that, but again many more miles to go before we sleep.
 

Cal

Foamer
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
2,948
Location
Socal
22 billion for grants
24 billion for federal-state partnership grants for NEC modernization
12 billion for partnership grants for intercity rail service
5 billion for rail improvement and safety grants
3 billion for grade crossing safety improvements

Any specific projects the grants will go to? Especially the intercity and federal-state partnership ones
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
5,311
Location
Washington State
It hasn't passed yet. This was just a procedural vote to allow it to continue to consideration. Long, long way to go, not to mention they'll have to reconcile a House version. In addition Pelosi is playing chicken by saying she won't consider this bill until the she gets the second stimulus that addresses the more social aspects. I suspect she'll give in on that, but again many more miles to go before we sleep.
Technically, that was a "procedural" vote, but that means it has the votes for cloture and isn't being filibustered. It is one of those "procedural" votes that pretty much means it has more than enough votes for passage (passage only requires 51, cloture requires 60). It is a more important and more difficult vote than passage itself. Calling it "just procedural" minimizes its actual importance.
 

Dakota 400

Engineer
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
3,161
While I am pleased that the slice of the pie that is expected to go Amtrak is as large as it is, I am even more pleased that the legislation received the bipartisan support that it did. This is a very important "win" for our democracy. Adults are once again in charge of our great Country!
 

jis

Engineer
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
29,392
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
22 billion for grants
24 billion for federal-state partnership grants for NEC modernization
12 billion for partnership grants for intercity rail service
5 billion for rail improvement and safety grants
3 billion for grade crossing safety improvements

Any specific projects the grants will go to? Especially the intercity and federal-state partnership ones
The NEC grants are most likely for things like Gateway and Baltimore Tunnels and such.

Intercity Rail is for launching Amtrak's ConnectUS program I'd imagine. As to which specific route projects, who knows? It even includes HSR, so California might snag a few more billions from it for all one knows.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cal

Amtrakfflyer

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
633
While I am pleased that the slice of the pie that is expected to go Amtrak is as large as it is, I am even more pleased that the legislation received the bipartisan support that it did. This is a very important "win" for our democracy. Adults are once again in charge of our great Country!
One huge issue, I have serious doubts that competent and well intentioned Adults are in charge of Amtrak. If this money does materialize and they blow it, it won’t bode well for Amtrak with future Congresses.
 
Last edited:

Dakota 400

Engineer
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
3,161
One huge issue, I have serious doubts that competent and well intentioned Adults are in charge of Amtrak.
There certainly is ample recent evidence to support such a thought. There is a "new man" in charge in Washington, one who supports Amtrak. I hope--and expect--that he will be watching what the "suits" are going to do with the billions when they finally receive it.
 

jis

Engineer
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
29,392
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
While I am pleased that the slice of the pie that is expected to go Amtrak is as large as it is, I am even more pleased that the legislation received the bipartisan support that it did. This is a very important "win" for our democracy. Adults are once again in charge of our great Country!
All that I'd say is make as much hay as possible while the Sun shines. This may not last that long what with blatant manipulation of the foundations of the electoral system, which has always been surprising;y rickety when compared to those in many other democracies of the world.
There certainly is ample recent evidence to support such a thought. There is a "new man" in charge in Washington, one who supports Amtrak. I hope--and expect--that he will be watching what the "suits" are going to do with the billions when they finally receive it.
I have a strong suspicion that Amtrak Joe will have his hands and time very full with issues more important and far reaching than what happens to a few passenger trains. He will be fighting mightily to stay in control, and I do hope that he succeeds. It is by far not a given that he will. 🤷‍♂️
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
5,311
Location
Washington State
There certainly is ample recent evidence to support such a thought. There is a "new man" in charge in Washington, one who supports Amtrak. I hope--and expect--that he will be watching what the "suits" are going to do with the billions when they finally receive it.
A Democratic Senate, even by a razor thin margin, and a Democratic House don't hurt.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cal

jis

Engineer
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
29,392
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1

Abe26

Train Attendant
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
39
One huge issue, I have serious doubts that competent and well intentioned Adults are in charge of Amtrak. If this money does materialize and they blow it, it won’t bode well for Amtrak with future Congresses.
I have the same feeling.
instead of using the money to improve everything, the money will just blow away. It’s a big pitty
 

jis

Engineer
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
29,392
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
Some more of the nitty gritty details of the dollar numbers and some of the back room wheeling and dealing...


Suffice it to say that these numbers may or may not be anywhere near the final numbers that will emerge from the "Sausage Factory" eventually.
 
Last edited:

Tlcooper93

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
497
Location
Boston
I view this bill, and my enthusiasm for it, not on the belief that it will transform passenger rail and Amtrak in America (though I would welcome being wrong about that) but that it will ensure Amtrak’s survival in its current state for at least the foreseeable future.

Part of surviving means the ability to purchase new trains and fix backlogged repairs.
 

Cal

Foamer
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
2,948
Location
Socal
Some more of the nitty gritty details of the dollar numbers and some of the back room wheeling and dealing...


Suffice it to say that these numbers may or may not be anywhere near the final numbers that will emerge from the "Sausage Factory" eventually.
Only 16 billion for the national network including 28 state supported routes. I don’t know if that’s enough to help the current routes and do the ConnectUS plan.


50 million to help restore discontinued service sounds good, but is that enough either?
 

Tlcooper93

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
497
Location
Boston
Only 16 billion for the national network including 28 state supported routes. I don’t know if that’s enough to help the current routes and do the ConnectUS plan.


50 million to help restore discontinued service sounds good, but is that enough either?

I think the over answer to all our “is it enough” questions is a giant and resounding no.

ConnectUS, NEC 2035, Siemens Amfleet I replacements, and Superliner replacements are probably pushing a combined price tag close to 250 billion, and that’s before shovels go in the ground.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cal

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
23,539
Location
Austin Texas
Only 16 billion for the national network including 28 state supported routes. I don’t know if that’s enough to help the current routes and do the ConnectUS plan.


50 million to help restore discontinued service sounds good, but is that enough either?
No to both questions! That's rounding errors in the Federal Budget!
 

20th Century Rider

Conductor
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
1,917
Location
Oregon Coast
One huge issue, I have serious doubts that competent and well intentioned Adults are in charge of Amtrak. If this money does materialize and they blow it, it won’t bode well for Amtrak with future Congresses.
And many are watching them carefully... with a magnifying glass. My gut instinct is that management knows it; also watching are the President and Secy of Transportation.
 

jis

Engineer
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
29,392
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
Only 16 billion for the national network including 28 state supported routes. I don’t know if that’s enough to help the current routes and do the ConnectUS plan.
Actually it is $16 B + $12 B = $28 B. After taking the NEC set aside, there is $12B left in the intercity line.

Frankly I consider the ConnectUS to be more of a marketing document than a credible plan for anything. It is meant to provide the one picture on a tripod behind Stephen Gardner while he yammers on about pie in the sky possibilities, like he did in Atlanta, and now in Phoenix. I wonder what UP and Arizona have to say about all this as they are going to be the Custodians of it shoveling money at Amtrak as Gardner hopes. 🤷‍♂️
 

Dakota 400

Engineer
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
3,161
I think it is important to remember that the House will have their say in whatever Bill comes out of the Senate. The Chairman of the House Committee that deals with Amtrak funding, Rep. DeFazio, is displeased with what he sees in the Bill. The gentleman is an important voice in the Democratic Caucus and the Speaker can ill afford to loose too many of her Party's members support.

I predict we won't really know what the final numbers for passenger rail will be until after a Conference Committee resolves the differences between whatever the two Houses finally pass. I am optimistic that Amtrak is going to fare well.
 

PaTrainFan

OBS Chief
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
526
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa.
That this even happened at all in today's political environment is remarkable. Sure, it would have been awesome to get [insert your number here] billion more for Amtrak, but think of where we were before today. Before Jan. 20. Let's rejoice that this is the biggest capital infusion, by far, in Amtrak's history. And there is still potential for more in the regular appropriations. After it's signed sealed and deliver, let's just hope Amtrak uses it wisely.
 
Top