November 12, 2017 – Longview News-Journal –

The nation’s passenger rail system and the Texas Eagle train that stops in Longview appear to be safe from federal budget cuts for now, but rail advocates say train travel needs more than status quo when it comes to funding.

“The status quo, to me, is better than what you saw coming out of the White House,” said Sean Jeans-Gail, vice president of government affairs and policy with the National Association of Railroad Passengers, but he said it defers dealing with problems that will just get bigger.

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump proposed a budget that would have eliminated the government subsidies that help pay for long-distance train routes, such as the Texas Eagle. That proposal has largely stalled, with Jeans-Gail explaining that when a variety of issues kept Congress from passing a federal budget by the end of September, lawmakers approved a short-term funding solution that essentially kept the lights on by providing funding for such things as Amtrak and the postal service based on the previous budget’s funding.

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