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Election results and Amtrak

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CTANut

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MODERATOR NOTE: Two threads (New dawn for Amtrak and Amtrak CEO reaches out to Biden) were merged into this thread. Please post any comments relating to Amtrak and the election results in this thread. Please avoid political comments that are unrelated to Amtrak. Some posts that were either off topic and/or political and unrelated to Amtrak have been removed. Responses to removed posts have also been removed. Thank you for your continued cooperation.

The AP just released that they think Joe Biden is the winner of the election. As a result, Amtrak is likely to see an increase in funding, and maybe even restoration to daily service.
 
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anumberone

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The AP just released that they think Joe Biden is the winner of the election. As a result, Amtrak is likely to see an increase in funding, and maybe even restoration to daily service.
Let the good times roll!
 

ShiningTimeStL

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What can he possibly do if the Senate remains in the hands of Mitch McConnell? How much authority over Amtrak does the president even have? At the very least I hope he will reform the everliving daylights out of the FRA. A heavy hand needs to come down upon the AAR to force compliance with safety measures and on-time-performance standards, as well as common carrier obligations while we're at it. I'm sure there are tons of little regulatory things that can be trimmed away to make passenger rail more viable.
 

Devil's Advocate

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ShiningTimeStL

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anumberone

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bms

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The AP just released that they think Joe Biden is the winner of the election. As a result, Amtrak is likely to see an increase in funding, and maybe even restoration to daily service.
Return to daily service should be the first step. We also need new routes and the restoration of some of the trains that have been cancelled in previous decades.

I would also like to see an intercity rail trust fund established, which would allow Amtrak to do long-term planning, maintenance, and capital investment without relying on the whims of Congress each year.
 

Dakota 400

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Even if the Senate remains in GOP control, remember that Biden and McConnell have a collegial relationship of long standing. My opinion: what Washington has been missing for a very long time is when the leaders of our Government stopped having those "post work day" get togethers that in the past helped to produce bipartisanship solutions to difficult issues. Have the new President invite McConnell and the Speaker of the House (Pelosi or whomever) to the White House for a few "after work drinks" and a discussion of the issues of the day.

I saw an interview with Mrs. John McCain where she said that Senator McCain and Senator Biden would fight "tooth and nail" on the Senate floor over a piece of legislation. And, then, go to the Senate Dining Room and have lunch together. That's the type of man that our President-Elect is I think. That's the kind of a relationship that will help to get things done that need to be done in this Country. Amtrak ought to also be able to benefit from such a situation as well.
 

joelkfla

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The AP just released that they think Joe Biden is the winner of the election. As a result, Amtrak is likely to see an increase in funding, and maybe even restoration to daily service.
There's nothing in the article saying Amtrak funding is likely to increase. That's pure conjecture.

Amtrak funding is probably more likely to increase under a Biden administration than under a Trump administration, but not necessarily more likely than not.
 

Willbridge

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Even if the Senate remains in GOP control, remember that Biden and McConnell have a collegial relationship of long standing. My opinion: what Washington has been missing for a very long time is when the leaders of our Government stopped having those "post work day" get togethers that in the past helped to produce bipartisanship solutions to difficult issues. Have the new President invite McConnell and the Speaker of the House (Pelosi or whomever) to the White House for a few "after work drinks" and a discussion of the issues of the day.

I saw an interview with Mrs. John McCain where she said that Senator McCain and Senator Biden would fight "tooth and nail" on the Senate floor over a piece of legislation. And, then, go to the Senate Dining Room and have lunch together. That's the type of man that our President-Elect is I think. That's the kind of a relationship that will help to get things done that need to be done in this Country. Amtrak ought to also be able to benefit from such a situation as well.
Reminds me of my first visit to DC. It was a Friday, so the House had already left town. The Senate was still in session and from the gallery we saw business conducted by five senators -- three majority and two minority -- agreeing not to make a quorum call so they could move a bunch of routine business. It was common sense and collegiality in action. I made the trip from NYP on the Morning Congressional, which dates this story.
 

Mike G

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Biden has a heavy debt to the far left, and they will come calling, with all their bail outs and free stuff, there will only be only a few table scraps for Amtrak at best. I’m not trying to be caustic I just see the world though different lens.

I have done my duty as a good American, gave the 1st 20 years of my adult life to the Air Force flying and voted in every election since I was 18. 💁‍♂️

1 last thought, Congress has mandated modes of transportation for the sitting president and former presidents, his train days are over. ( unless he can get 1 from Kim 😬 )
 

Acela150

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I've heard there are some rather good changes coming from some of my sources inside the PV industry. All I can say is everyone will be very happy.
John, with all due respect, that's a REALLLLLLLLLLLLLY broad statement. Is it changes to PV? Amtrak? Again, all due respect. I really don't care if it's for PV owners right now. Amtrak needs all around help financially, etc.

With the topic of Biden being President Elect and funding for Amtrak... The President (Current or Elect) does NOT decide funding.. Congress does..... The Presidents Budget is a Proposal.
 

Seaboard92

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John, with all due respect, that's a REALLLLLLLLLLLLLY broad statement. Is it changes to PV? Amtrak? Again, all due respect. I really don't care if it's for PV owners right now. Amtrak needs all around help financially, etc.

With the topic of Biden being President Elect and funding for Amtrak... The President (Current or Elect) does NOT decide funding.. Congress does..... The Presidents Budget is a Proposal.
National Network, PV owners, OBS, food service, etc.... Someone in Philly isn't well liked by most people here, or in the incoming administration.
 

MARC Rider

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1) Amtrak is not exactly the biggest item in the Federal budget. In fact I would imagine that Amtrak is a bit of an afterthought.
2) Over the years, and even during the current administration, Amtrak funding has received support from both sides of the aisle in Congress. Most of the Senators who opposed the proposed screw-over the the Southwest Chief were Republican. After all, the National Network trains run through a lot of states represented by Republicans. Remember that Amtrak is basically a political deal where they fund the National Network that provides public transportation access to rural areas not well served by anything else, and they also fund corridor service to connect large urban areas.
3) While I could see Republican opposition to any proposals for build lots of 200 mph high-speed rail or something, I think there could well be bipartisan agreement on expanding Amtrak, especially if a lot of the expansions are in "Red States."
 
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MARC Rider

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My sincere hope is that we will benefit from a trifecta of having a president who is (1) reliably pro-rail, (2) intimately familiar with Amtrak, and (3) has personally experienced the full service era before everything was cut back to the bone.
Most of Joe's Amtrak experience had been riding on the Northeast Regional or Acela between Wilmington and Washington. There haven't really been any cutbacks on that route. In fact, one could say the compared to 1973, when he started in the Senate, service on the Northeast Corriodor has greatly improved. The trains are more frequent and faster, that's for sure. The equipment was upgraded (Amfleets in 1975 and the Acela in 2000, and it looks like both are on course to be upgraded again. Most of the stations have been upgraded, although, of course, so much time has passed that they may need new renovations.

I have no idea whether he ever rode on a long-distance train, and the only on-board service that might be relevant to his experience is whether the cafe car can provide him with a cup of decent coffee on the morning ride down to DC and a good stiff drink on his evening ride home. That sort of OBS has not been cut back, even during our Covid experience, as I know from personal experience.
 

flitcraft

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What matters is not, who do you or did you support--but what is the likely outcome of a Biden presidency vis a vis Amtrak. That remains to be seen of course, but I suspect that enhancing clean travel options like rail will find a lot of support in the new administration.
 

frequentflyer

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Ask yourselves how well or not well did Amtrak fare under Obama. Expect much of the same. The only change will be the current Amtrak management gettinbg new marching orders or getting replaced. It will not be Mr Anderson's Amtrak but I do not think it will the rail pax paradise some of you are envisioning.
 

flitcraft

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The difference one politician can make on transit issues is exemplified by Dorm Braman, who was mayor of Seattle in the late 60's--the last Republican mayor of that city to date--and later Assistant Secretary of Transportation for a while under Nixon. He vigorously supported transit development in his stint as mayor, and continued to push for rail projects during his time in the Nixon administration, ,singlehandedly changing the tenor of that administration on rail and transit programs.

I happen to live in the house he designed and built in Seattle in the mid-40's--and where he passed away, in what is now our den. He was the kind of politician who was capable of working across the aisle to get the things done he believed in. A rare thing these days...
 

Siegmund

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Biden has a heavy debt to the far left, and they will come calling, with all their bail outs and free stuff, there will only be only a few table scraps for Amtrak at best.
There are those on the far left who think Amtrak deserves as much bailing out as the airlines do, and whose evil socialist agenda includes things like affordable environmentally friendly transportation. "Shovel-ready" projects like restoring service cuts and speeding construction on HSR projects that are already underway are great things to put in economic stimulus bills, too. Infrastructure for hydrogen-fueled cars would be nice but that is decades away even if we throw a ton of money at it tomorrow.

Not convinced Biden plans to make many concessions to the far left -- and if he did, the unflipped Senate wouldn't pass them -- but if I were forced to put my fate in the hands of the far left or the far right, I know which I would pick.
 

Rover

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The AP just released that they think Joe Biden is the winner of the election. As a result, Amtrak is likely to see an increase in funding, and maybe even restoration to daily service.
I wouldn't get my hopes up. Biden is all about the NE Corridor. I don't see his excitement for LD rail.
 

Devil's Advocate

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I wouldn't get my hopes up. Biden is all about the NE Corridor. I don't see his excitement for LD rail.
The long distance eulogy has been written more times than I can count but supporters like Biden are a big part of why Amtrak still exists today. Biden helped keep Amtrak funded as a Senator and helped convince Obama to support passenger rail as well. The LD network has suffered greatly in recent years but Biden was not in power during this time so that's not on him. Although Amtrak is often portrayed as regional vs LD here on the forum the truth is when it comes to policy and funding what helps one side often helps the other. In my view the best way to address this divide is to remove the profit requirement and replace the board with people who see the whole as more than the sum of its parts.

 
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