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Amtrak Trains Keep Breaking Down Despite Massive Injection Of Taxpayer Cash

According to data from the Department of Transportation (DOT), Amtrak, the U.S. public passenger rail company, continues to experience regular breakdowns despite receiving large amounts of taxpayer money from the Biden administration.

Since 2021, as of July 9, 2024, 333 Amtrak train accidents have been reported nationwide, slightly fewer than the 397 that occurred between 2016 and July 2020 during former President Trump's term in office. according to The Biden administration has pumped significant taxpayer money into Amtrak, including giving the railroad $4 billion at the end of 2022 as part of $66 billion for passenger rail announced in a bipartisan infrastructure bill. according to To the White House.

According to the data, of the 333 accidents that have occurred under Biden, 66 were derailments, 84 were service disruptions, five were fires or “violent ruptures,” 115 involved rail vehicles crossing roads, and 54 were “other,” resulting in a total of $4 million in equipment damage since 2021. (Related article: Biden administration signals support for struggling high-speed rail project, critics say “waste of money”)

Amtrak's latest disruption occurred on Saturday when a faulty circuit breaker caused a power outage that halted service on its busy New York-Boston route. Officials blamed the outage on a lightning strike. according to Contacted CBS. The outage was announced in the afternoon and continued until 9:50 p.m., but Amtrak completed repairs and offered to waive other fees for customers who rescheduled their reservations.

Passengers look at the departures board as they wait to board a delayed Amtrak train at New York Penn Station in New York City on June 19, 2019. A power outage on Amtrak and New Jersey Transit train lines halted all trains in and out of New York Penn Station on Wednesday morning. (Photo by Drew Ungerer/Getty Images)

Amtrak has never turned a profit since it was founded in 1971 and is expected to continue losing $1 billion a year for the foreseeable future.

The Biden administration argues that passenger rail is “more convenient and environmentally friendly than cars and planes.” according to To the White House, which is promoting 25 new passenger rail projects in the Northeast Corridor to bring Biden “closer to a world-class passenger rail vision.”

“Biden Economics and President Biden's Invest in America policies will address long-standing infrastructure needs, support communities across the country, and enable people and goods to get to where they need to be safely, quickly, and conveniently,” the White House said in November 2023. “The President's Bipartisan Infrastructure Act is the largest investment in passenger rail since Amtrak's founding, bringing total investments in rail to $66 billion.”

The Biden administration also announced a $3.07 billion grant for the California High Speed ​​Rail Authority in December, even though the project has not made any significant progress since funding was first approved by California voters in 2008.

Amtrak and the Department of Transportation did not immediately respond to DCNF's requests for comment.

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