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Senate Proceeding on Sep 29th, 2008 :: 0:27:47 to 0:33:48
Total video length: 2 hours 33 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Lamar Alexander

0:19:54 to 0:27:47( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander

0:27:35 to 0:27:47( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: will consider procedural motion to go to amtrak reauthorization bill and i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support it. for a long time, amtrak has been a question mark in washington,

Richard Durbin

0:27:47 to 0:27:59( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: d.c.: will it survive? do we need it? well, it will survive if we have the will to support it and the question whether we need it is answering convincingly. all across the united states, not just

Richard Durbin

0:27:47 to 0:33:48( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Richard Durbin

Richard Durbin

0:27:59 to 0:28:13( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: in the northeast corridor, in my state of illinois, amtrak has become the affordable alternave for people who can't afford to pay for gasoline for their cars. amtrak ride areship is higher -- ridership

Richard Durbin

0:28:13 to 0:28:23( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: is higher now than in decades in illinois. it is very difficult for a person in my state to get a reservation for a treat on amtrak. clearly it is a popular means of transportation and in high demand.

Richard Durbin

0:28:23 to 0:28:34( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: friends of mine who try to travel from down state illinois to chicago say unless you think weeks in advance to make reservations, you just country get on the train. and, of course, i think that's the

Richard Durbin

0:28:34 to 0:28:48( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: wave of the future. and a good one, because more and more people taking this affordable alternative are leaving their cars behind and leaving congestion and pollution behind. that's positive development.

Richard Durbin

0:28:48 to 0:29:08( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: but we can't have an amtrak moving forward that serves the needs of america without an authorization bill. the last time we passed an amtrak authorization bill in this chamber was in 2002. it has

Richard Durbin

0:29:08 to 0:29:24( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: been six years since we've passed an authorization and as a result this agency has been languishing, surviving from year to year, lunching from one inadequate -- lucching from one budget to another. the

Richard Durbin

0:29:24 to 0:29:35( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: amtrak trains today are pretty ancient, been around 20 or 30 or 40 years. we ned to pass this authorization bill. our leader on the democratic side is senator lautenberg. frank lautenberg of new

Richard Durbin

0:29:35 to 0:29:49( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: jersey has really made a name for himself in the field of transportation during his service in the united states senate and he has worked so hard to make sure that amtrak moves forward in the 21st century.

Richard Durbin

0:29:49 to 0:29:59( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: we need to pass this authorization bill though. this bill does so many things that are absolutely essential: increasing capital gra~ -- increasing capital grants to amtrak so they can start rebuilding

Richard Durbin

0:29:59 to 0:30:13( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: their trackage, making sure it is safe and trains are move faster and they can have better on-time performance. they also develop state passenger corridors. illinois has a terrific program and a

Richard Durbin

0:30:13 to 0:30:25( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: lot of demand for expansion of amtrak. we now have downstate three different corridors -- quincy to chicago, and the route that runs through champagne and carbon dale. but we have requests from northern

Richard Durbin

0:30:25 to 0:30:39( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: illinois, rockford, into did dubuque, iowa, we have requests from chicago into the quad cities and into iowa even further. all of these communities beg me for the opportunity for amtrak service.

Richard Durbin

0:30:39 to 0:30:50( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: many of these same communities have been coming to congressmen and snofers over the years asking for service. but they're realistic in realizing short-haul service is better served by passenger rail

Richard Durbin

0:30:50 to 0:31:03( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: or at least can be supplemented with passenger rail. so they're asking for that alternative, too. we need to expand that opportunity around the united states. if you wanted to order a new amtrak train

Richard Durbin

0:31:03 to 0:31:12( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: and cars, get on a waiting list. in canada or europe, we don't make many, if any, here in the united states. that has to change, too. with amtrak with a clear and bright future, i think there will be

Richard Durbin

0:31:12 to 0:31:23( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: more investment and capital in amtrak here in the united states. i would like to see facilities in my state of illinois or some a joining state building the train cars that we need for the future

Richard Durbin

0:31:23 to 0:31:34( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: instead of heading off to canada or europe and trying to bid for them. we is also to really come to a better relationship with the freight railroads. you see, with very few exceptions, amtrak doesn't

Richard Durbin

0:31:34 to 0:31:52( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: own the railroad track, the freight railroads do. there was a long-standing agreement that amtrak would have priority to move passengers over that freight rail track. well, of course, that means that amtrak

Richard Durbin

0:31:52 to 0:32:02( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: is at the mercy of dispatchers who will put a loaded passenger house on a side or passenger track and let them sit for long periods of time waiting for a freight train. passenger train, amtrak is supposed

Richard Durbin

0:32:02 to 0:32:12( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: to have priority. in this bill we give to the surface transportation board the ability to take a look and see if the freight railroads are discriminating against amtrak in terms of service and whether

Richard Durbin

0:32:12 to 0:32:24( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: damages should be awarded. finally, after all these years, we put some teeth into the enforcement of a law that's been on the books for a long, long time, saying that the freight railroads have to

Richard Durbin

0:32:24 to 0:32:37( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: work to give the passenger rails this kind of opportunity. this is an important piece of legislation, long overdue. it's been held up for so many years, and it's so important that we do it now. we

Richard Durbin

0:32:37 to 0:32:51( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: believe, as i think most americans do, that high-speed rail is a part of our future. it isn't just nostalgic view of the past. it is part of our future as well. this bill has important instments

Richard Durbin

0:32:51 to 0:33:04( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: in amtrak, important improvements when it comes to rail safety. one of the provisions in this bill will require over time that they put on the engines of trains what they call positive controls. what

Richard Durbin

0:33:04 to 0:33:15( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: it means is, wwould have avoided the does not in los angeles that killed people just recently. when a train would approach a red light, the engineer would have to give a positive force to change the train

Richard Durbin

0:33:15 to 0:33:26( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: or it would automaticay shut down and slow down. so it really creates a safety measure that could have saved lives in california and will save lives across america if it's instituted. that and several other

Richard Durbin

0:33:26 to 0:33:38( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: things here will make a big difference in passenger ssms i hope this bill gets a strong bipartisan roll call of spowmplet i know there are mels on the republican side who feel as strongly as i

Richard Durbin

0:33:38 to 0:33:48( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: do that this is an important step forward for the 21st century for service jeer service and that amtrak is part of america's future. i yield the floor. behalf. mr. domenici: mr. president? the presiding

Pete Domenici

0:33:48 to 0:34:02( Edit History Discussion )

Pete Domenici: officer: the senator from new mexico. mr. domenici: i know would don't have a lot of time so i would try to ask for five minutes. is somebody controlling our time here? the presiding officer: without

Pete Domenici

0:33:48 to 0:41:24( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Pete Domenici

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