October 31, 2023 - trains.con -
Legislation that aims to reverse Amtrak’s statutory right of preference over host railroad freight trains “within 50 miles of a port or rail yard” has been introduced by a U.S. Congressman representing a rural district without any passenger service. Among its co-sponsors is the head of the U.S. House subcommittee with jurisdiction over Amtrak.
The “Freights First Act” was introduced in June by U.S. Rep. Eric Burlison (R-Mo.), whose district in the southwest corner of the state has never been served by Amtrak. An original co-sponsor is Troy Nehls (R-Texas), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Railroads and Pipelines.
Note: Texas Rail Advocates does not support this legislation and considers it to be a solution in search of a problem. We are surprised that Congressman Nehls is a co-sponsor of this bill and not surprised that few in Congress have agreed to co-sponsor the legislation.
Photo credit: Well-wishers crowd the platform at the Arcadia Valley Station in rural Arcadia, Mo., on Nov.18, 2016, to greet the first southbound Texas Eagle to stop at the newly established station. U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, who represents the area, supports legislation to withdraw Amtrak’s right of preference over freight trains. Bob Johnston