January 19, 2018 – This week, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved, for a second time, the nominations of Diana Furchgott-Roth to be Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Research and Technology and of former Congressman Lynn Westmoreland to be a member of the Amtrak Board of Directors.
Eno Transportation Weekly
December 22, 2017 – Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) again blocked the nomination of Ronald Batory to become the nation’s head safety regulator as Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration.
December 22, 2017 – This week’s fatal Amtrak derailment in Washington State has brought the issue of positive train control (PTC), a technology that automatically activates the brakes of trains to meet speed limits or red lights, to the forefront of debate once again.
November 1, 2017 – On October 31, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee convened a hearing to consider four of President Trump’s transportation nominees, amidst a growing backlog of transportation nominees in the upper chamber.
October 12, 2017 – On October 4, the House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee convened a subcommittee hearing on infrastructure needs from the perspective of rail stakeholders. Rep.
July 17, 2017 – As noted in last week’s ETW, Amtrak has released its own five-year business plan and financial forecast. The original version of the plan (preserved here for posterity) had inaccurate tables in the back of the report relating to route-by-route ridership and financial forecasts.
July 20, 2017 – Amtrak submitted its fiscal 2018 budget request to Congress on May 31, but did not get around to publishing its full financial plan to accompany the budget request until late last week.
July 13, 2017 – On July 7, the Federal Railroad Administration finalized a program to allow private bidders to take over some Amtrak long-distance routes.
July 7, 2017- The U.S. Department of Transportation withdrew from formal participation in the Gateway Development Program as a new cost estimate for centerpiece of the program raised the total program cost to near $30 billion.
July 1, 2017 – Late yesterday afternoon, the U.S. Department of Transportation notified the Gateway Program Development Corporation that USDOT is permanently withdrawing from the corporation’s Board of Trustees.
June 29, 2017 – On June 22, the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I) held a hearing to review the state of intercity passenger rail in the U.S.
June 30, 2017 – The Gateway Program is a $24 billion portfolio of rail projects in New York and New Jersey, centered around a new tunnel between Secaucus Junction and Penn Station.
June 9, 2017 – Amtrak submitted its own budget request for fiscal 2018 on May 31, asking for $840 million more than the White House requested on its behalf and also requesting a new kind of advance funding for 2019 and 2020.
May 25, 2017 – The FY 2018 budget request from the Trump Administration calls for steep cuts in federal grants to Amtrak, with the intent to eliminate federal support for Amtrak’s long-distance routes.
April 14, 2017 – A significant part of President Trump’s transportation budget request is to put and end to some of the last remaining legacies of the days of regulated air and train fares and routes.
March 9, 2017 – President Trump has announced he will nominate former U.S. Department of Transportation General Counsel Jeffrey A. Rosen to serve as Deputy Secretary of Transportation, while Derek Kan is rumored to have the inside track for Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy.
February 24, 2017 – On February 15, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a hearing entitled Moving America: Stakeholder Perspectives on our Multimodal Transportation System.
December 7, 2016 – As the 114th Congress winds to a close at the end of this week, President Obama has submitted some last-minute nominations to the Senate relating to the railroad industry.
August 31, 2016 – Vice President Biden announced last week that the Federal Railroad Administration will loan Amtrak $2.45 billion to purchase 28 new trainsets for Northeast Corridor Acela service and to make upgrades to Washington Union Station, Moynihan Station New York, and other NEC facilities.
August 31, 2016 – The White House has requested that Congress include an “anomaly” in the fiscal 2017 continuing resolution (CR) that will allow Amtrak to switch over to a new budget structure on October 1.