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Amtrak

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BUSINESS
January 19, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Top Amtrak officials collect salaries of $200,000 or more, according to records made public in response to Freedom of Information Act requests by The Inquirer. Amtrak, the taxpayer-subsidized national railroad, routinely refuses to divulge officials' salaries when it announces their hiring. Amtrak received about $1.3 billion in public money last year, including about $400 million for operating costs. These are the salaries of some officials hired in recent months, Amtrak disclosed in response to the newspaper's freedom-of-information requests: Gerald Sokol Jr., chief financial officer, $300,000.
NEWS
March 19, 2011
Amtrak said Saturday afternoon that it had resumed service in the Northeast Corridor -- and on its Keystone Service, across Pennsylvania -- after a temporary suspension because of earlier power outages. "Passengers should expect residual delays along these routes," Amtrak said. SEPTA reported at 11:45 a.m. Saturday that delays on its regional rail lines were gradually coming to an end. It said it was resuming regular train service after earlier disruptions caused by Amtrak power problems.
NEWS
July 20, 2000
The Amtrak police force abides by local procedures for handling cases in which an individual appears to be a threat to himself or others. At 30th Street Station, we would abide by the Philadelphia police force's procedures. Rick Remington Amtrak spokesperson
NEWS
March 19, 2013 | By Paul Nussbaum, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Amtrak's board of directors has selected Anthony R. Coscia as its new chairman. Coscia, 53, of North Caldwell, N.J., is a real estate finance attorney who previously served as chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Coscia, appointed to the nine-member Amtrak board by President Obama in 2010, replaces fellow Democrat Thomas C. Carper, of Illinois, whose term expired Saturday.  
NEWS
December 24, 1986
Here we go again. Just a few months ago, the Congress rejected President Reagan's proposal to eliminate Amtrak, and he is back with the same idea. For whatever reason, the President seems obsessed with the desire to abolish Amtrak. The Inquirer's Dec. 16 editorial calling the selling of Amtrak a "fiscal fantasy" is right. Amtrak provides a vital service to our country, and by all means it should be continued in its present form. Amtrak and its employees have, since its inception, continuously improved service and productivity.
NEWS
April 18, 1989 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Amtrak wants a federal judge to invalidate the 39-m.p.h. speed limit set by Pennsauken on trains passing through the township. The National Railroad Passenger Corp., which operates Amtrak, sued the township Friday, arguing that federal regulations regarding train speeds supersede any state or local laws. Concerned about public safety in the wake of plans to build the so-called Gamblers' Express train line between Philadelphia and Atlantic City, Pennsauken passed an ordinance on Oct. 27, 1986, imposing the 39-m.
NEWS
June 12, 2008 | By Larry King INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
With highways clogged and gas prices soaring, U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D., Pa.) sees Amtrak as a commuting option for his Bucks County constituents who work in New York. Amtrak, however, does not share Murphy's view. The financially strapped national railroad sees its limited Northeast Corridor seats as best utilized by full-fare spot travelers, not daily commuters paying discounted monthly rates. Yesterday, those philosophies were set on a possible collision course when Murphy amended a funding bill to force Amtrak to consider increasing stops and lowering fares for riders using Bucks County's only Amtrak station.
NEWS
October 20, 1997 | by Frank Dougherty, Daily News Staff Writer
SEPTA has put on hold the emergency alternative service plan it had developed in anticipation of a strike Wednesday against Amtrak by the Brotherhood of Maintenance & Way Employes. "With Amtrak and the BMWE agreeing yesterday to a one-week extension of the Wednesday 12:01 a.m. strike deadline, we have suspended for the time being implementation of the plan," said Stephan Rosenfeld, SEPTA assistant general manager of public affairs. Plans to begin passing out pamphlets this morning at SEPTA regional rail stations to commuters on the R1 Airport, R2 Newark/ Wilmington, R5 Downingtown/Paoli, R6 Cynwyd, R7 Trenton and R8 Chestnut Hill lines have been suspended as well.
NEWS
February 24, 2005 | By NORMAN Y. MINETA
SOMETIMES in government, it takes more than words to bring about change. Earlier this month, President Bush, frustrated that Congress had not moved on his proposed reforms to the passenger rail system, said that subsidies for Amtrak should be eliminated starting Oct. 1. Since then, something interesting has happened: lawmakers, journalists and citizens are starting to talk seriously about the future of passenger trains in America. Many have been critical of the changes the president and I have proposed.
NEWS
October 11, 2012
Amtrak set another ridership record for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, carrying 31.2 million passengers. Ridership was up 3.5 percent from the previous year, while ticket revenue grew by 6.8 percent to a record $2.02 billion. The ridership record was the ninth in the last 10 years. The national railroad, created in 1971 after private railroads went bankrupt, required a federal subsidy of $1.42 billion for operating costs, capital expenses and debt-service. That was down from $1.48 billion in 2011 and $1.57 billion in 2010.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
March 11, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
The U.S. Supreme Court sided Monday with Amtrak in a dispute with freight railroads over priority of passenger trains on freight tracks. A 2008 law directed Amtrak to work with the Federal Railroad Administration to create standards that let Amtrak keep priority over freight trains. But a federal appeals court sided with the freight railroad industry, which said Amtrak was a private organization that could not regulate competitors' actions. The Supreme Court reversed, saying Amtrak is like a government entity given the reality of federal controls.
BUSINESS
March 6, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
The U.S. House on Wednesday approved and sent to the Senate a passenger rail bill that would allow Amtrak to use profits generated by Northeast Corridor service for improvements to the Washington-to-Boston corridor. The bill would also phase out federal subsidies for food and beverage services on Amtrak trains. The House bill would provide about $1.4 billion for Amtrak next year, rising to $1.5 billion by fiscal 2019. It also would provide $300 million per year in infrastructure investments, half of it for the NEC. This year, Amtrak received $1.39 billion.
BUSINESS
March 2, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
WASHINGTON - In the grand halls of Union Station, you can get everything but a train. From Appalachian Spring to Victoria's Secret, 55 retail shops offer shoes, handbags, ties, chocolate, wine, perfume, cigars, watches, and clothes. Thirty-five restaurants and food stands will serve you plank-roasted salmon on a white tablecloth or a burrito in a brown paper bag. The many commercial lures - and the majesty of the monumental 1907 Beaux Arts building with its vaulted, coffered ceilings and classical statuary - have made Union Station a bigger draw than the Lincoln Memorial or the Smithsonian Institution: 37 million people pass under its arches each year.
BUSINESS
February 20, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Sen. Bob Casey urged Amtrak to spruce up 30th Street Station to welcome visitors for the papal visit this fall and the Democratic National Convention in 2016. The Pennsylvania Democrat said Wednesday he wanted more retail and dining options and nicer restrooms. No new federal money is likely to be available to speed up improvements, Casey acknowledged in a news conference at the station, but he said he hoped private funding could fill the bill. He had no estimates on costs, specifics on renovations, or possible private contributors.
BUSINESS
February 8, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
U.S. House leaders offered their vision for the future of Amtrak on Thursday, with a bill that calls for more autonomy for the Northeast Corridor, while requiring an end to federal subsidies for food and beverage services. The measure, the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015, is sponsored by the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. It is virtually identical to a bill that passed the committee unanimously late last year but did not come to a vote in the full House.
NEWS
December 3, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
A MAN WAS fatally struck by an Amtrak train in Northeast Philly late Sunday, officials said yesterday. The collision took place about 11:40 p.m. on the tracks in Bridesburg, said Craig Schulz, an Amtrak spokesman. A man, whose identity wasn't available last night, was walking in the track area when a Northeast Regional train hit him, police said. Medics pronounced him dead at the scene. It's unclear why the man was walking on the tracks, but it doesn't appear that his death was a suicide, said Lt. John Stanford, a police spokesman.
BUSINESS
November 27, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Amtrak on Tuesday reported its smallest federally funded operating loss since 1973, as ridership on the Northeast Corridor reached a record 11.6 million passengers. Amtrak reported total revenues of $3.24 billion in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, up from $2.99 billion a year earlier, and total expenses of $4.29 billion, compared to $4.20 billion in fiscal 2013. After adjustments for depreciation and other items, Amtrak reported an federally funded operating loss of $227 million, a 37 percent decrease from 2013 and a 52 percent decrease from 2007.
NEWS
November 26, 2014 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writer benderw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5255
PLANNING TO travel today? We hereby grant you permission to kick off your shoes, crack a beer, ignore your in-laws and postpone your Thanksgiving journey until tomorrow morning. It might be safer. AAA Mid-Atlantic is predicting that about 580,000 Philadelphia-area residents will travel 50 miles or more away from home between today and Sunday - the heaviest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2007. But a coastal storm is expected to move in this morning and could create major traffic problems throughout the day. Fantastic.
NEWS
October 19, 2014 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
Plans for expanded parking, higher platforms, improved waiting areas, and other upgrades at train stations along the 104-mile Keystone Corridor will move forward within the next few years, a Pennsylvania transportation representative said Friday. Five of the 12 train stations on the Keystone Corridor, which stretches from Harrisburg to Philadelphia, are in Chester County. "A lot of these stations, nothing has been done with them since my grandfather came home from World War II," said Jennie Granger, director of aviation at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
NEWS
October 13, 2014
If I hadn't been looking for "psychylustro" through the tinted windows of the Chestnut Hill West train, I would not have seen the helium balloon bucking at its tethers above the Philadelphia Zoo. I wouldn't have wondered about the skinny, leafless trees (like tinder, like wishbones) or imagined 19th-century factory girls behind the smashed windows of abandoned manufactories or reflected on Philadelphia's history as a generative incubator of modern graffiti. I wouldn't have thought about rail yard grass, either, or about how, despite every zooming, spewing, speeding thing, it grows.
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