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February 16, 2005 3:00 AM

Amtrak must be overhauled or junked, Secretary Mineta says

The Bush administrations message to Amtrak is simple: Change or die. If Amtrak isnt dramatically overhauled, the Bush administration is prepared to essentially junk it and save only the commuter-rail segments, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said Wednesday. Thats preferable, he said, to spending about $1 billion a year in subsidies to keep the cross-country passenger-rail system alive. In its 2006 budget, the Bush administration proposes eliminating Amtraks annual subsidy, which is $1.2 billion this year. The idea is to force Congress and Amtrak to institute sweeping change.

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