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Doing The Locomotion

The Locomotion…besides being the name of a tune that I play on the Puffman Show by Little Eva, that’s what AMTRAK is doing these days. Earlier this month, AMTRAK  unveiled the 1st of 70 NEW locomotives at a plant out in California. These 70 “Iron Horses” mark what the national passenger railroad service hopes will be a NEW era of better reliability, streamlined maintenance & better energy efficiency. On a broader scale, the new engines could well be viewed as a symbol of the improving financial health of AMTRAK! More than 31 million passengers rode the rails in the 2012 fiscal year, generating a RECORD $2.02 billion in ticket revenue. The news gets even better! Robert Puentes, a senior fellow in the Brooking Institution’s metropolitan police program, says, “Even though Washington is mired in debt & dysfunction, AMTRAK is reinventing itself.” These swell new engines will be used on the Northeast Corridor between Washington DC & Boston & on Keystone Corridor trains back east that run between Philadelphia & Harrisburg. AND there’s potential “Good News” for us here in Big Sky Country: .AMTRAK plans to study the feasibility of ADDING a stop over in Culbertson for folks traveling to the Baaken region for work. Senator’s Jon Tester & Max Baucus have requested this study to give oil field workers another transportation option. The senators note that the oil field jobs are drawing workers from all over Montana, but some are finding it difficult to make the long commute. Both Tester & Baucus have dispatched a letter to AMTRAK noting that the Culbertson stop would be 54 miles east of Wolf Point & some 43 miles west of Williston, North Dakota. They point out that housing, an extended-stay motel & 2 other motels are being built in Culbertson. I encourage you to check out the NARP (National Association of Railroad Passengers) Hotline for all the latest on AMTRAK. Their recent Hotline covered the unveiling of new electric locomotives, the upcoming start of weekend commuter rail service between Washington DC & Baltimore, & a NEW report about the DECLINE in driving amongst younger Americans! See: narp@narprail.org & RIDE THE TRAIN!

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