My letter from D. Fienstein

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Train Attendant
Aug 23, 2002
Okay I know that these letters are written by some flunkie in her office but I thought I share with you a letter I just got from my senator, Diane Feinstein, in reply to a letter I wrote a couple of months ago. It is by far the most detailed response letter I have recevied from anyone political.

... Thank you for contacting me to express your support for

Amtrak. Your interest in our nation's passenger rail system is

important to me, and I welcome the opportunity to respond to your


Amtrak began operation in 1971 to relieve failing railroad

companies of their operations without sacrificing passenger rail

service in the United States. The federal government took on that

responsibility because legislators listened to the concerns of

citizens across the country, most of whom believe that we benefit

tremendously from widespread passenger rail service.

Amtrak not only provides a convenient, inexpensive

transportation option to many Americans, but it also forms a

crucial part of our transportation infrastructure, during a time when

security concerns have made it harder, not easier, to move goods

and people from place to place. Although Amtrak operates at a

deficit, as do most passenger rail systems around the world, it does

not consume a disproportionate share of federal transportation

dollars given the services that it provides. I have received

countless letters from constituents describing their enjoyment of

trips on the Coast Starlight, California Zephyr, and other routes.

Senator Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC) introduced the "National

Defense Rail Act" (S.1991) in March of this year in an effort to

establish a strong and efficient national passenger rail system.

Please know that I am a co-sponsor of this bill. This legislation

will provide Amtrak with the tools and funding it needs to operate

efficiently. The bill will help develop high-speed rail corridors and

will allow regional transportation solutions to play a part in the

national system. It will also aid in the development of short

distance corridors between larger urban centers.

Senator Hollings' bill was recently approved by the Senate

Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and I am

hopeful that it will be approved by the full Senate during this

session of Congress. In the interim, I co-signed a letter to Senator

Byrd (D-WV) and other members of the Senate Appropriations

Committee, asking them to include $1.2 billion for Amtrak in the

Fiscal Year 2003 Appropriations bill. I am committed to seeing

not only that Amtrak does not shut down, but that it receives the

full funding necessary to carry out the maintenance and capital

improvements necessary for its long-term health.

Once again, thank you for your letter on this important

matter. I hope you will continue to keep in touch on issues of

importance to you. If you have any questions, please feel free to

contact my Washington, D.C. staff at (202)224-3841.


Service Attendant
Aug 23, 2002
High Desert, Southern California
I received the same letter almost word- for- word from Senator Feinstein's office. At least someone is reading them. And it is good to know other RR nuts are contacting these elected officials concerning Amtrak other than myself. Let's keep the pressure on them. Thanks.