Trump Budget Hits Empire Builder
President Donald Trump’s proposed budget could greatly reduce passenger rail service across the country, while specifically impacting Amtrak’s Empire Builder that runs through Montana. KTVQ.com reports that the National Association of Railroad Passengers is calling on people to “stand up for trains” following the Trump administration’s proposal to cut spending by $2.4 billion. According to the NARP, at a minimum, the proposed White House elimination of long distance routes would eliminate Amtrak services in 220 towns and cities, including a dozen in Montana.
The Empire Builder has operated daily from Seattle, through Montana and all the way to Chicago since 1939, originally operated by Great Northern Railway. It is a source of economic prosperity in the Flathead Valley. Montana U.S. senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines expressed support for the Amtrak, noting the impact cuts could have in Montana.