Saturday, June 09, 2018

New Mexico railroad in jeopardy, seeking funding for track repairs

The railroad has always been a defining feature of our state, all the way back to 1878 when the mighty Santa Fe Railroad made its way into New Mexico through the Raton Pass, eventually connecting Chicago to the West Coast. As years went on, stops in rural towns started to establish a vital rail link to the rest of the country, and they're still important to this day. Today's passenger service, operated by Amtrak’s Southwest Chief, could be in jeopardy after funding cuts to track repairs. Friday morning, Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., delivered good news: A Senate appropriations committee agreed to help New Mexico access federal money to pay for those much needed repairs. Senator Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., said, “the Southwest Chief is really the backbone of transportation infrastructure in rural New Mexico... (it has) an enormous economic impact on those communities each and every year.” But that vital backbone is close to breaking – the old rails that the Amtrak trains run on are old. In order to keep running passenger trains on them, new railroad ties and parts of the track have to be modernized...MORE

This is right down the alley for Udall and Heinrich: a quasi-public, inefficient, and poorly managed entity that loses gobs of money. And their prescription? Give it more money, more grants. The railroad companies had been losing money on passenger service since the Great Depression, but the DC Deep Thinkers thought they could do better. Ha!

And notice both Senators are so concerned about our rural communities. Someone please tell them that two-thirds of all AMTRAK passengers come from the 10 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.

No comments: