Manchin schools Transportation Secretary about Amtrak ban of pri - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Manchin schools Transportation Secretary about Amtrak ban of private trains


WASHINGTON, DC -- West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin Wednesday questioned Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao about several matters, including a proposed Amtrak ban on private trains.

Manchin first spoke about restoring the New River Train service that would be banned outright because it falls under the category of special service and charter trains. 

The senator told Chao the Amtrak ban would put an end to the New River Train service, a 51-year tradition that links Charleston and Hinton for the smaller city's annual Railroad Days Festival.

The secretary said she hadn't heard about the ban until Manchin brought it up at her appearance before the Senate Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban development.

Manchin said businesses and charitable groups depend on the two-weekend festival for revenue.

"We're not asking for an accommodation for one person or a special group," said Manchin. "This is a period of time where either we make it or break it. It's been going on for 51 years, so it's not a Johnny-come-lately."

On Tuesday, both U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins and Governor Jim Justice said they have received a commitment the event will be held this fall.

Manchin also asked Chao about Corridor H, which runs from central West Virginia to northern Virginia, but also includes 20 miles of uncompleted road. According to Manchin, it will cost around $330 million to complete the project.


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