House GOP’s threat to defund Amtrak will hurt rural Kansas

The question is not whether we want trains to make a profit, but rather do we want and need trains, and what their role should be



October 4, 2023 - 2:06 PM

An Amtrak train arrives at a station stop in 2021. (Mario Tama/Getty Images/TNS)

What happens in Washington may seem far, far away, but decisions by Congress can and do affect people out here on the High Plains. And if House Republicans have their way, our region could lose its trains, or find them next to worthless.

Amtrak, the government corporation that operates the nation’s rail passenger trains, faces around a 50 percent budget cut under proposals in the House Commerce Committee.

It seems the House Republicans have resurrected the old myth that passenger trains can make money. That hasn’t happened in the U.S. in three-quarters of a century, and it’s not likely now.

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