FUEL TRAINING PLAN FOR 2017: The $7,500 train wreck of the 21st century has brought about a major change in the way train service is planned and funded.
The Federal Transit Administration, which oversees Amtrak and operates the system, is moving to make its finances more transparent.
In a memorandum dated Feb. 3, FTA Director Daniel W. Fruhrer says the agency will use an annual financial transparency report that includes data about funding and other expenses.
He says the FTA will publish its financials for the 2017 financial year at the end of March.
The agency also will post its financial information on its website, www.fta.gov/about/financial-reports.
The FTA’s new data will allow train operators to see how much they are spending each year on train maintenance, operations and other costs, as well as how much each train is expected to cost taxpayers.
The document also will include data on how much of each train’s operating expenses are financed by the federal government, as opposed to the states.
A year ago, FTA chief Carolyn B. Browning said the agency was planning to report the information on the agency’s website.
But it was delayed in the final months of the administration and never fully released.
Now, the FTA says it will publish the financial information, along with its 2017 fiscal year financial information.
The new transparency report will be released by the end the first week of March, FTA spokeswoman Lisa M. Bresler said in an email.
Facing an aging and shrinking fleet, Amtrak is looking to spend billions of dollars on a more efficient train system, but the agency says it needs more money to maintain its fleet of more than 50 million cars.
The railroad’s current contract with the federal transit agency expires in 2022, and the agency has said it will seek a renewal to continue its contract.
The Amtrak contract is worth more than $7 billion per year, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.
Amtrak has been running about $500 million of its annual operating costs through a $1 billion fund that was established in 2007 to help it pay for operating costs and other operational costs, according the Federal Railway Administration.
It has been using that money to purchase new locomotives, buy more cars and add more train cars, which can cost about $2.2 billion per train, the agency said in a statement.
A $500 billion annual operating budget is considered the size of a nation’s budget for the last five years of the 20th century, according Fruhnrer’s memo.
In 2017, the Federal Transit Authority reported that it was spending $8.3 billion on train operations, $738 million on maintenance, $822 million on equipment, and $817 million on repairs.
It was also spending $2 billion on capital expenses.
A similar memo issued last year by FTA Commissioner John B. Raffaelli noted that the agency had budgeted $3.1 billion for a new Amtrak locomotive in 2017.
Amtrak plans to buy nearly 1,400 new locomotive cars over the next five years, and it is also planning to buy another 1,100 cars in 2018.
The $2-billion-per-year contract for the new Amtrak cars is due to expire in 2021, and Amtrak plans on seeking an extension of the contract until 2021, Fruhlrer’s memos said.
FSUITIES, BUSINESSES TO PAY FOR TRAIN COSTS FSUITY COST FOR 2017 : Amtrak is expected the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will make $1.6 billion in the first year of a new contract that would allow the railroad to pay for its train maintenance and operations, which include operating costs.
The agreement, called the Long Term Operational Plan, covers the first five years.
The federal agency has also agreed to pay $600 million a year for a fleet of up to 150 new train cars over 10 years.
This will help pay for the maintenance of the train cars and train tracks, the government said in its announcement.
The government also plans to pay about $700 million a season in maintenance costs, including a $100 million annual “service life” fee for trains.
Amtrak also plans on paying $300 million a month for new trains and buses over the same period.
Amtrak is also expected to pay another $100-million a year to cover the cost of trains and coaches, which are designed to help train operators maintain trains and tracks.
The contracts will provide the railroad with a way to pay Amtrak for repairs, repairs, and other service that is not covered by its current operating contracts, which expire in 2024.
FUHFER RIGHTS IN 2017 The Federal Transportation Administration will be required to publish its 2018 financial report on its financial transparency website by the first weekend in March.
It will also publish its annual financial information in the Federal Register, the Government Printing Office, and online at www.federalregister