Senate Democrats demand more money for Amtrak repair backlog

Written by The Associated Press | May 21, 2015 1:41 PM

(Washington) -- Senate Democrats are demanding more money for Amtrak so the railroad can tackle a $21 billion backlog in repair and replacement projects.

They say that backlog compromises safety and service.

Democrats say congressional Republicans have starved federal programs that help repair and rebuild passenger rail bridges, tunnels and track.

One tunnel in Maryland that needs replacement is over 140 years old. Tunnels under the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey are over 100 years old.

Investigators have said a recent deadly Amtrak crash in Philadelphia could have been prevented if expensive safety technology had been installed.

Republicans have criticized the nation's long-distance passenger railroad as wasteful and inefficient.

Amtrak more heavily serves urban areas in the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast that are represented predominantly served by Democrats.

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