Rail

Panel recommends Amtrak lose assets

Posted on January 11, 2002

Amtrak would be forced to give up its most significant assets under proposals made by a federal panel studying the financially troubled passenger railroad. The Amtrak Reform Council meets today to finalize recommendations it will report to Congress on Feb. 7. Restructuring options for the railroad have been reduced from nine to three. Under the proposals, Amtrak would relinquish ownership of the Northeast Corridor, estimated to cost between $800 million and $1 billion to maintain, to the U.S. Transportation Department or a compact of states. All three options give the government varying oversight roles and responsibilities. The National Association of Railroad Passengers said Thursday that recommendations to "separate Amtrak from profitable non-rail assets bear a disturbing similarity to the early steps in the process that led to Britain's current railway crisis."

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