Amtrak suffered some service disruptions and delays, with three trains halted about 80 miles from Chicago, when drifting snow and ice made the tracks impassable.
Regardless of confusion over what the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program was defined as and political pressure being applied, the Obama Administration’s $10 billion-plus investment in the nation’s rail network has seen some success as many projects, including California’s “true” high-speed rail program, continue moving forward.
While funding and technology integration remain key issues, some U.S. rail operators are looking to meet the 2015 Congressional deadline, including Southern California’s Metrolink, which aims to have its system in place by next year.
Taking a proactive approach to potential rail attacks, agencies such as Amtrak and L.A. Metro have been fortifying their resources and outreach programs for years. As a result, they were ready and able to help riders feel safe when recent terrorist threats loomed.
In December 2010, record Southern California rains, causing damage such as flooded tracks, forced Metrolink to scramble to maintain services for its customers.
President Obama's focus on rail harkens back to the days of the first 'rail president' and fellow Illinois native, Abraham Lincoln.
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