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TRANSPORTATION | NATION / WORLD

Clinton Signs Amtrak Bill With Bailout Fund

December 03, 1997|Bloomberg News

President Clinton signed Amtrak reauthorization legislation into law that includes access to a $2.3-billion bailout fund for the cash-strapped national passenger railroad. The new law gives Amtrak the ability to operate like a private business, Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater said. "Amtrak will no longer be shackled by certain statutory mandates, especially congressionally mandated route selections," Slater said. "Amtrak will be able now to make its decisions based on the needs of customers, again in a business-like fashion." The law will help Amtrak cut its costs by phasing out the prohibition against contracting out services. It also provides resources to allow Amtrak to purchase new railroad cars, additional equipment and to make improvements on tracks in the form of a $2.3-billion capital investment fund.

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