Amtrak’s president and CEO told a House committee that an overhaul of the government-subsidized carrier’s corporate structure is beginning to have an effect.
Still, Boardman is looking for more federal investment in infrastructure, including a proposed $7 billion upgrade of Washington’s Union Station. The railroad also wants to spend more than $150 billion to build a state-of-the-art high-speed rail line in the Northeast Corridor, which would carry trains at speeds exceeding 200 miles per hour.
But Mica and other Republicans are reluctant to authorize more funding for an operation that has never been profitable and has struggled to implement earlier promised reforms.
“Without a profit motive, how do you reach those goals?” asked committee member Richard Hanna, R-N.Y.
“We were in survival mode,” Boardman said. “That’s begun to change at Amtrak, I hope.”
Ted Alves, inspector general of the National Railroad Passenger Corp., Amtrak’s corporate parent, said he believed Boardman has succeeded in changing the corporate culture.
“Since Mr. Boardman made that a priority ... that plan was delivered, and there’s things that are under way to address those deficiencies,” Alves said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.