Passenger Rail: Opportunities and Challenges for the National Network

February 23, 2016

U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), chair of the Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security Subcommittee, will hold a hearing titled “Passenger Rail: Opportunities and Challenges for the National Network” on Tuesday, February 23, at 9:45 a.m.
Witnesses will testify on local, state, and federal efforts to strengthen state-supported and long-distance passenger rail routes, which account for the majority of trips taken by Amtrak passengers. It will focus on reforms advanced in the five-year transportation bill signed into law in December 2015, including measures to increase the transparency of Amtrak, streamline railroad project approvals, expand state and local participation in National Network activities, and boost innovation and competitiveness in grant programs. The hearing will also cover new initiatives, such as the Gulf Coast Working Group and State-Supported Route Committee.
- Mr. Joseph H. Boardman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Amtrak
- Mr. Knox W. Ross, Secretary-Treasurer of the Southern Rail Commission and Mayor of Pelahatchie, Mississippi
- Mr. Timothy H. Hoeffner, Chair of the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission and Director of the Office of Rail, Michigan Department of Transportation
- Mr. Rick Klein, City Manager of La Junta, Colorado
* Witness list subject to change

Hearing Details:
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
9:45 a.m.
Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security Subcommittee hearing
This hearing will take place in Senate Russell Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on

For reporters interested in reserving a seat, please contact the press gallery:

• Periodical Press Gallery – 202-224-0265

• Radio/Television Gallery – 202-224-6421

• Press Photographers Gallery – 202-224-6548

• Daily Press Gallery – 202-224-0241

Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid or service, including closed captioning service for the webcast hearing, should contact Stephanie Gamache at 202-224-5511 at least three business days in advance of the hearing date.


Majority Statement

  • Senator Deb Fischer

Witness Panel 1