U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today applauded President Obama for prioritizing passenger rail in his Fiscal Year 2014 budget and proposing a $40 billion investment to strengthen America's rail network over the next five years.
"By proposing significant investments in America's passenger rail system, the President's budget recognizes the critical role that Amtrak plays in our nation's transportation network. Amtrak continues to achieve record ridership numbers, and has proven time and again that investments in rail mean investments in our economy and our country's future. We must continue working in Congress to secure funding and help Amtrak provide quality service and expand its high-speed network to create a 21st century transportation system," said Lautenberg, Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation.
Senator Lautenberg is the author of the "Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act," which was signed into law with bipartisan support in 2008 to reauthorize and strengthen Amtrak. The law created a high-speed rail grant program, made critical investments in the Northeast Corridor, and required Amtrak to work with the states and the federal government to bring the Corridor into a state of good repair.
Senator Lautenberg has also secured approximately $30 million for Amtrak to begin design and engineering work on the Gateway Tunnel project. The project will build a new trans-Hudson rail tunnel to increase the number of NJ Transit and Amtrak trains into and out of New York. The Gateway project will also expand intercity and high-speed rail access, providing world-class, high-speed rail service on the Northeast Corridor.