Amtrak's Financial Situation: Hearing Before the Commerce, Science and Transportation, U.S. Senate

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Kay Bailey Hutchison
DIANE Publishing, Jun 1, 1997 - Transportation - 101 pages
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A hearing held to look at the current financial situation of Amtrak and to determine the best way to handle Amtrak's fiscal and financial situation, including the best way to address capital needs. Witnesses include: Thomas M. Downs, Pres. and CEO, Amtrak; Donald M. Itzkoff, Deputy Administrator, Federal Railroad Admin., U.S. Dept. of Transportation; Phyllis F. Scheinberg, Assoc. Dir., Transportation Issues, Resources, Community, and Economic Development, General Accounting Office; Karen Borlaug Phillips, Assoc. of American Railroads; and Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison, John McCain, Ron Wyden, Daniel K. Inouye, and John F. Kerry.
 

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Page 28 - Statement of Phyllis F. Scheinberg, Associate Director, Transportation Issues, Resources, Community, and Economic Development Division...
Page 83 - Congress, reports that an investment of $7 9 billion each year over the next 20 years will be required to maintain the nation's transit facilities and equipment in their current state of repair and to meet projected increases in travel demand This amount of investment is insufficient, however, to improve...
Page 33 - Corridor (at about $800 million) and the acquisition of 98 new locomotives (at about $250 million). ' " . . It is important to note that Amtrak's increased debt levels could limit the use of federal operating support to cover future operating deficits. .As Amtrak's debt levels have increased...
Page 31 - BACKGROUND Amtrak was created by the Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970 to operate and revitalize intercity passenger rail service. Prior to its creation, intercity passenger rail service was provided by private railroads, which had continually lost money, especially after World War II. The Congress gave Amtrak specific goals, including providing...
Page 29 - Amtrak's Strategic Business Plan: Progress to Date (GAO/RCED-96-187, July 24, 1996); Northeast Rail Corridor: Information on Users. Funding Sources, and Expenditures (GAO/RCED-96-144, June 27, 1996); Amtrak: Earlv Progress Made in Implementing Strategic and Business Plan, but Obstacles Remain (GAO/T-RCED-95-227, June 16, 1995); Intercity Passenger Rail: Financial and Operating Conditions Threaten Amtrak's LongTerm Viability (GAO/RCED-95-71, Feb.
Page 10 - ... service. This was a problem that our rail predecessors grappled with after World War II. What sustained passenger trains into the 1960s was the revenue generated by mail and express contracts. Typically, most passenger trains covered their expenses through the so-called "head end" business - mail and express. With the advent of air traffic and the construction of the interstate highway system during the 1950s mail revenue on passenger trains began to erode as planes and trucks proliferated. When...
Page 29 - We are continuing to monitor Amtrak's progress as it attempts to address its financial problems and free itself from federal operating subsidies by 2002. Our statement today presents preliminary information from our ongoing work looking at >Amtrak's progress in achieving this operating self-sufficiency.
Page 22 - Subcommittee for this hearing and she looks forward to a future opportunity to discuss with you the Administration's reauthorization recommendations in detail. Two years ago, in FRA's first appearance before this Subcommittee, we shared with you the Clinton Administration's vision for Amtrak. We expressed our view that intercity rail passenger service is a safe, energy efficient and environmentally sound means of transportation that can and should be an integral part of this Nation's transportation...
Page 37 - ... types of cars. However, these trends may be masking substantial future costs to maintain the fleet. In October 1996, about 53 percent of the cars in Amtrak's active fleet of 1,600 passenger cars averaged 20 years old or more and were at or approaching the end of their useful life (see app.
Page 23 - ... long-term future of intercity rail passenger service. When we last testified on Amtrak before this Subcommittee, we identified the so-called *heritage cars* as a major problem blocking a successful future for Amtrak. These heritage cars - the equipment Amtrak inherited upon its creation in 1971 - accounted for nearly one third of Amtrak's fleet as late as 1995. Cars 40 years old and older were not uncommon. The low capacity and high cost of maintenance of this equipment badly hurt Amtrak's bottom...

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