Thursday, September 1, 2016

America Truly Has a Love For Amtrak

America is united by a love of Amtrak.  Whether it is our first train ride, or we have ridden for generations, we all have a deep love for the passenger train.
I myself like to draw trains when I ride Amtrak.  I like to watch the cities, towns and beautiful scenery go by.  I like to stop for caramel corn at Union Station.
I like to visit with those who have ridden the trains all of their life.  Every town has a story of its own.  People disembark.  To visit family and friends.  To head home.
All the same, people board the train.  Their journey just beginning.  It is time to see America.  The conductor asks where they are heading.  He places their ticket marked Denver or Chicago above their seat.  They are now a fellow passenger on this journey.
We are now exploring America together on Amtrak.  We are fellow travelers on this journey.  A journey aboard a train.  It is the train that unites us.  America truly has a deep love for the train.  Amtrak truly is in all of our hearts.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Carolina Takes the Train

Carolina takes the train, wherever it goes
To baseball games, to see people it knows
Carolina says all aboard, on trips near and far
And it takes the train, instead of the car
Carolina takes the train, from here to there
And travels in more comfort, than if it went by air
Carolina takes the train, and says choo choo
Carolina takes the train, and you should too

America Takes the Train

America takes the train
Wherever it goes
To baseball games
To see people it knows
America says all aboard
On trips near and far
And it takes the train
Instead of the car
America takes the train
From here to there
And travels in more comfort
Than if it went by air
America takes the train
And says choo choo
America takes the train
And you should too

Friday, August 19, 2016

Joseph Boardman and Wick Moorman-Two Men Who Hold The Passenger Train Sacred

America’s passenger train truly brings a magical journey for us all.  The passenger train is not just a way to get from place to place, it is a journey.  Many of us cherish the passenger train.
For the last eight years, I have been grateful to see Amtrak under the stewardship of Joseph Boardman.
Today, I am equally grateful to see that leadership pass into the hands of Wick Moorman.  In both Joseph Boardman and Wick Moorman, I hold a trust in men who hold the passenger train sacred.  They themselves understand the importance of connecting America’s communities by rail.  That so many beautiful vistas can only be seen by train.  As well, that rail is the most economical and efficient way for many of us to travel.
In seeing the guidance of Amtrak handed to Wick Moorman, I know that Amtrak’s service will continue to thrive.  I have confidence that for years to come we will all be able to witness America’s sacred beauty by rail.
Wick Moorman truly brings the promise that future generations will enjoy the magic of the passenger train.  In the handing of Amtrak from Joseph Boardman to Wick Moorman, I truly see Amtrak going from strength to strength.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Thank You Congress For the 45G Tax Credit for Short Line Railroads

For almost two centuries, railroads have been the most fuel efficient way to move freight and passengers over land.  This being said, it is critical that railroads are able to fully capitalize on their potential.
Throughout America, carload after carload of freight is generated by our short line industry.  It is critical that each and every one of these carloads enter into our rail network and arrive safely at its destination in a timely manner.
I would like to thank the men and women of our short line industry for seeing to it that our system of short lines is well maintained and efficiently run.  I would also like to thank Linda Bauer Darr and the men and women of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association for providing the short line industry with the tools it needs.
Thank you, as well, to the men and women of Congress for working together to give the short line industry the much needed 45G tax credit.
The 45G tax credit is about getting the job done.  As railroading has so much cost below the rail, this tax credit truly works.  I am grateful so many have come together for so many years to keep the 45G tax credit in place to ensure carload after carload of freight enters our railroad system to keep it working.
Thank you so much to Senators Mike Crapo and Ron Wyden and Representatives Lynn Jenkins and Earl Blumenauer for working together to support the short line industry in creating the permanent Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy Act.  The railroad industry is truly grateful for your work.  Thank you.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Seeing My First Missouri Pacific Engine in Sacramento, California.

When I was growing up, my hometown of Davis, California was home rails to Southern Pacific.  Although I credit seeing Southern Pacific's daily trains to much of my appreciation for railroading, I often liked to venture to Sacramento to see the trains of rival Union Pacific.
The early 1980's were a sea of Union Pacific SD40-2s with the occasional C30-7.  SD60's and Dash-8's were just beginning to arrive.
One day, as a double-stack train raced through Del Paso Heights, to my excitement I saw a recently acquired Missouri Pacific SD40-2.  I watched as the blue locomotive headed east under the I-80 overpass and out of sight.  That was the first I saw of Missouri Pacific as a California railroad enthusiast. 

Thank You Galesburg for Expanding Your Amtrak Station

Many of us have visited Galesburg, Illinois, situated on the historic Santa Fe and Chicago Burlington and Quincy.  Through the years, we have attended Galesburg Railroad Days and watched the trains of Santa Fe, Burlington Northern, BNSF and Amtrak as they make their transcontinental trek.
Many of us, myself included, have boarded the Amtrak Southwest Chief and California Zephyr from Galesburg’s venerable depot.  At that, I would like to take a moment to say, “Thank you,” to the City of Galesburg for making a much needed expansion to their town’s Amtrak station.
We all enjoy riding Amtrak, and with much needed improvements to stations, cities such as Galesburg ensure that our Amtrak experience is truly second to none.  Thank you Galesburg.
Amtrak was designed to serve the communities of America.  Each community working together with Amtrak makes a teamwork of service to Amtrak’s riders.  With Galesburg’s improved station, that teamwork is truly winning.
Galesburg’s expanded station was financed in part by funds set aside for Amtrak in Illinois Jobs Now! and by funds for Rural Transportation Assistance in a Federal Transportation Administration 5311 Grant.  With projects such as the Galesburg Depot expansion, we truly can look forward to a greater Amtrak of today and tomorrow.