Montana senator helps shape Amtrak reauthorization bill

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) and his colleagues on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee advanced legislation on Thursday that aims to strengthen transportation and public safety in Montana and elsewhere.

The Railroad Reform, Enhancement and Efficiency Act reauthorizes funding for Amtrak. Daines added an amendment to the bill that obligates Amtrak to inspect various options for creating new Amtrak stops, one of which may be based in Culbertson, Montana.

The amendment also requires Amtrak to consider options for advancing economic development and accessibility of Amtrak stations in their respective communities.

The Senate Appropriations Committee also approved the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development  and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2016 on Thursday, to which Daines also added provisions to improve the security of radar capabilities within the Powder River Training Complex. To guarantee the security, leaders will raise the safety measures around the Power River Training Complex by collaborating with the Department of Defense and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). With these organizations working together, the expansions and equipment are expected to be as safe as possible.

The additions also will help determine the expansion of Amtrak within the Bakken region and Eastern region of Montana. This pertains to new rail stop under consideration for Culbertson, Montana.

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