WASHINGTON — In the wake of a series of tragic rail accidents over the last several years, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD), and Related Agencies Subcommittee, led a group of senators in requesting new funding to make much-needed upgrades and safety improvements to America’s rail lines, including the Northeast Corridor (NEC). In two letters addressed to THUD Subcommittee Chairwoman Susan Collins (R-Maine) and THUD Subcommittee Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the group of senators emphasized that insufficient funding for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and NEC infrastructure improvements could jeopardize our ability to investigate rail accidents and improve the lives of millions who travel by rail.
Specifically, the senators requested that the FY 2018 THUD Appropriations bill fund NTSB at $108.7 million – $3.5 million above the FY 2016 level – to hire additional rail investigators. The senators also requested that two NEC programs – the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program, which improves passenger rail infrastructure, and the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program, which can expand the use of life-saving Positive Train Control technology – be funded consistent with levels authorized in the FAST Act of 2015.
“We’ve seen too many horrific and deadly rail accidents in the last few years, and they all could have been prevented. We know what causes these crashes and exactly how to stop them, but without this funding, we won’t be able to,” said Murphy. “Transportation funding is the coin of the realm when it comes to economic growth. In Connecticut, our economy hinges on our ability to move people safely and quickly to the big metro centers of Manhattan and Boston, especially along the Northeast Corridor. We should fund the NTSB and these critical Northeast Corridor programs at the levels we’ve requested – our constituents can’t risk waiting any longer.”
For the PDF of the senators’ letter requesting funding for the NTSB, click here. U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) joined Murphy in sending this letter.
For the PDF of the senators’ letter requesting funding for the NEC, click here. U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Tom Carper (D- Del.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) joined Murphy in sending this letter.
Murphy is a vocal advocate for robust investment in transportation infrastructure. Through his “Fed Up” Campaign, Murphy hears directly from Connecticut’s commuters about why they’re “fed up” with Connecticut’s traffic and aging transportation infrastructure. Murphy joined Senate Democrats in announcing a plan to invest $1 trillion in transportation infrastructure to rebuild America’s infrastructure projects over the next ten years and create 15 million jobs. America’s deteriorating infrastructure already costs the economy close to $200 billion a year.