GALESBURG — Despite projections that Amtrak ridership will top 30 million passengers for the first time ever when the current fiscal year ends Sept. 30, the U.S. House Republican transportation plan would eliminate all state-supported Amtrak service beginning Oct. 1. Half of Galesburg’s eight daily Amtrak trains are state-supported trains, with twice daily stops by the Illinois Zephyr and the Carl Sandburg.
According to an Amtrak news release issued Thursday evening, the FY 2012 Transportation-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee budget proposal offered by the GOP would prohibit the use of federal money to help pay for any operating costs of state-supported trains.
State Rep. Don Moffitt, R-Gilson, who has been a major proponent of freight and passenger rail service here, called the proposal “a well-intended bad idea. Very short-sighted.” Continued