Lawmakers: US budget measure includes $50M for Amtrak route

February 16, 2019 GMT

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Lawmakers say a federal budget compromise approved by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump provides $50 million of additional federal funding to maintain Amtrak rail passenger service through New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas.

New Mexico Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan said Friday the funding for the Southwest Chief route will enable Amtrak to pay matching funding for a grant to pay for maintenance and safety improvements to the Southwest Chief route.

Amtrak officials previously proposed replacing train service with bus service between Dodge City, Kansas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico — about a quarter of the 2,265-mile (3,645-kilometer) route providing daily train service between Los Angeles and Chicago.

The New Mexico lawmakers said the funding was also pushed by senators from Colorado and Kansas.