GOP-controlled House panel cuts Amtrak funding

May 14, 2015
Photo: Amtrak's Southwest Chief
Amtrak engine 99 pulls the westbound Southwest Chief out of the Raton Tunnel near the summit of Raton Pass.

 eight people Thursday when another body was found. The tragedy happened to fall in the same week as National Infrastructure Week, when Capitol Hill sees an influx of "lobbyists, labor leaders and activists" who press lawmakers for funding their preferred projects, NPR reported.

It looked as if the case for funding might have been strengthened by events in Philadelphia. They could argue that — no matter what investigators may find was the specific reason for the derailment — the tragedy offers a general warning that U.S. transportation systems have gotten outdated and dangerous.

But that's not what happened, The Washington Post reports.

Within hours of the Philadelphia crash, House ­appropriators voted to slash Amtrak’s budget by 18 percent, while debating a transportation spending bill. 

Two Amtrak lines run through Colorado. One carries the California Zephyr from Chicago through Denver's Union Station and across the middle of Colorado to the Bay Area. The other carries the Southwest Chief from Chicago to Los Angeles, with a few stops in southern Colorado including in Trinidad. We have a call out to Amtrak to whether Colorado might be affected by the proposed cuts.

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