Tell Congress: This is unacceptable
Due to unusually cold temperatures on Wednesday, January 30th, Amtrak cancelled all train service to and from Chicago, leaving people stranded all over. As of Thursday, January 31st, they are still operating on a very limited schedule.
This is unacceptable. Congress needs to fund the necessary infrastructure improvements so that this doesn't happen.
Every day, trains all over the world are able to operate safely and reliably in cold climates. When it comes to cold-weather innovations in passenger trains, China leads the way. One of their high-speed lines traverses a corridor that sees temperatures ranging from 40 to -40 degrees Celcius. To run trains through such harsh weather conditions, China commissioned hundreds of studies and tests to ensure the safety of the "ice-train" (pictured right) and its specially designed signaling systems, all guaranteed to operate in extreme temperatures.
Why have China and other countries across the world invested so much in this technology? Even during blizzards or when the thermometer drops below -40 degrees Celsius, good transportation is needed to bring people together and connect economies. In fact, under extreme circumstances, when roads and runways are impassable, passenger trains can be the only viable form of transportation. Having a modern, winter-ready railroad network can make all the difference when harsh winters leave thousand of travelers stranded.
Amtrak routes run through cold climates across the country, and should be prepared to continue operations through inclement weather. However, they don't have enough funding to implement the necessary technology and upgrades. Amtrak needs to make it clear to Congress how important it is to continue operations during these conditions, and what they need in order to do so. To make this argument viable, your representatives need to hear from you too.
Fill out the form below to bring up a template for an email and the contact information for your DC representatives. Feel free to add a specific comments in your email about why reliable train service is so important to you.