When it comes to federal dollars allocated to the different sectors of the transportation industry, in comparison with the auto and airline industries, the passenger rail system has seemed like it always gets the least amount of attention.
But last month Amtrak got a huge financial boost with the passage of the bi-partisan Infrastructure bill. After being whittled down by the Senate in budget negotiations, the Northeast Corridor route will receive $6 billion of the $22 billion offset just for Amtrak. The entire budget earmarked for intercity passenger rail service is $66 billion.
Will rail worker safety programs get a piece of the pie?
For the first time since its inception 50 years ago, Amtrak has strong support from the White House. Our current president has a long and storied history of riding the rails from Washington D.C. home to his wife and family in Delaware.
There is no doubt that the support from the White House influenced the fiscal decisions in the Capitol. In fact, there is at least $8 billion dedicated to improvements in safety and freight. Grade crossing eliminations are but one example, but improvements to the tracks and existing infrastructure are sure to be included.
Improved rails lead to safer rides
For both riders and those railway workers who serve them as they travel, safety should always be the priority. If you are a railroad worker who got injured on the job, understanding your rights and responsibilities is the first step to collecting any compensation.