Is Toledo's Amtrak service on the chopping block? - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Is Toledo's Amtrak service on the chopping block?

(Source: WTOL) (Source: WTOL)
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) -

If President Donald Trump's proposed budget is passed as currently written, the deep cuts to the Department of Transportation budget would shut down Amtrak in all of Ohio's cities, according to Amtrak officials.

The current plan calls for terminating federal funding for all of Amtrak's long-distance service, and would necessitate shutting down the Lakeshore Limited and the Capitol Limited lines that run across Ohio's northern tier and includes service to Toledo, Cleveland and other cities that are now served by Amtrak.

"I would hate [cutting long distance service]. It's cheaper than flying and it's a lot more fun- you can actually see the country and enjoy the experience instead of just rushing through it, so it would be a great loss I think," said Amtrak rider Phoenix Procter. 

The 2.4 billion dollar cut would also, according to Amtrak officials, shut down the passenger rail service in 23 of the 46 states it now serves.

Last year, 55,00 people used the Amtrak station in Toledo alone. 

The administration justifies the reductions by citing that the majority of Amtrak's operating losses are on those scenic long distance routes.

The end of those iconic routes would affect as many as 500 communities, according to Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman who also has told employees and riders not to be alarmed by the headlines of the proposed cuts.

He says that very often the final budget looks nothing like is first one offered.

The proposal however is expected to draw heavy opposition from those states affected by a shut down, and by millions of rail passengers who use the service.

"I'd be really disappointed. It's the most fun part of traveling to me. If I had to fly every time or something, I wouldn't really enjoy it as much. I probably wouldn't travel as much because I get nervous flying and the train makes me a lot happier," Procter said. 

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