Today, U.S. Senators Arlen Specter and Bob Casey and Representative Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-3) praised the inclusion of $800 million for Amtrak in the House of Representatives' job creation legislation for the acquisition of fuel efficient locomotives. The jobs legislation passed the House of Representatives Wednesday evening and now awaits Senate action.
In a letter to House and Senate leadership sent earlier this week, the Senators and Representative highlighted that funding for Amtrak could "play a major role in the ongoing effort to create jobs, bolster the domestic rail manufacturing industry, and strengthen our country's passenger rail service."
"I am extremely pleased to see Amtrak locomotive funding included in the House legislation and will fight to maintain the funding when the Senate considers this legislation," Senator Specter said. "This investment is critical to creating good-paying jobs and helping sustain our domestic locomotive manufacturing base."
"The passage of this legislation is step in the right direction to retain good-paying manufacturing jobs in Erie," said Senator Casey. "As the focus shifts to the Senate, I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure Amtrak gets the support it needs to protect local manufacturing, as well as improve passenger rail safety, reliability, fuel savings and emissions reduction."
"Funding for Amtrak fleet modernization is critical to job creation and retention in Western Pennsylvania," said Representative Dahlkemper. "With this funding, Amtrak will help create demand for fuel efficient locomotives, which could be produced in Erie and Grove City by GE Transportation. Not only can this funding support our local manufacturers, it can also improve intercity passenger rail service and help create a more fuel efficient rail system nationwide."
Should Congress allocate this funding for acquisition of locomotives, Amtrak will establish a competitive bid process through which funding will be awarded.