Senators praise Amtrak long distance trains

By STEPHANIE BEASLEY, With help from Brianna Gurciullo, Tanya Snyder and Lauren Gardner, Politico Morning Transportation; July 27, 2018UP THE TRACKS: Rural-state senators lavished praise on their long-distance Amtrak services during a Thursday hearing on two rail-related nominees — former Trump aide Rick Dearborn to serve on Amtrak’s board of directors and Martin Oberman to become a Surface Transportation Board member. Many of them sought assurances from Dearborn (a former Senate staffer well liked by members) that those routes are crucial to Amtrak’s national network, which he gave without making many promises besides vowing to work with senators and their staffs. When asked by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) what he would do if he had to choose between lowering Amtrak’s operating losses or shutting down a long-distance line, Dearborn said: “I hope I’m never faced with that decision.” He added that he plans to focus on boosting ridership, which would spur revenue gains that he hopes would help Amtrak’s stewardship of its various services.

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