Biden announces Amtrak stimulus funding

March 13, 2009 11:33:07 AM PDT
Vice President Joe Biden says $1.3 billion set aside for Amtrak as part of the economic stimulus package will go toward funding a critical backlog of deferred maintenance. Speaking Friday at Union Station, Biden said $105 million will be spent to replace a 100-year-old bridge in Connecticut on Amtrak's heavily traveled northeast corridor. Another $82 million will be used to replace old rail cars and put them back into service.

The national passenger railroad, long criticized for its reliance on government subsidies, has been enjoying strong support in Washington under the Obama administration.

Biden noted that every passenger rail system in the world relies on subsidies and that for far too long Amtrak has been starved for cash.

Biden has commuted on Amtrak for decades between his home in Wilmington, Del., and Washington.

U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Ted Kaufman announced nearly $97.5 million in new economic recovery funds will benefit Amtrak-related projects in Delaware.

$58.5 million will go to refurbish 59 train cars at the Amtrak shop in Bear; $21 million for the Wilmington Station Restoration project; and $3 million for security upgrades at Amtrak facilities in Delaware.

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