The following is a Jan. 28 alert from
The National Association of Railroad
To NARP Members in Missouri--January 28, 2003:
As you know, continuation of the St. Louis-Kansas City "Mules" beyond February 28 depends on
state approval of another $1.2 million for Amtrak. Continuation of any service beyond June 30
depends on adequate funding in the state's Fiscal 2004 budget.
Below, I have provided a draft letter to your state legislators. Feel free to use as many of these words as you like, but please use your own words wherever possible. If you (or people you know) ride these trains, but sure to mention that. Go to http://www.senate.state.mo.us/zipcode/leg_lookup.htm
and enter your zip code in order to learn who represents
you in Jefferson City in BOTH the House and the Senate, and for contact
information. (FYI--the Missouri House website is http://www.house.state.mo.us/.)
Sen. Griesheimer is mentioned below--he played a key role in saving the "Mules" in the last budget cycle, but there is no assurance he will do the same this time.
If you want to mention the proposal by Herzog Transit Services to take over the service as a lower cost provider (as reported in yesterday's Kansas City Star), you may wish to note that the $1.2 million and the $8.9 million should be approved anyway. The ability to transition to another provider during fiscal 2004 is unclear (given Amtrak's unique legal access to the freight railroads' tracks) and in any event could not be accomplished by the end of February.
As with federal legislators, if you use fax or e-mail be sure to include your regular mailing address. We would be glad to get any feedback from state legislators that might be helpful to our efforts to save these trains.
--Ross B. Capon,
NARP Executive Director
Dear Senator [or Representative?]:
Please work to assure continuation of our two daily trains linking St. Louis, Kirkwood, Jefferson City and Kansas City. [Obviously add any other Amtrak stop that might catch the fancy of your legislator.]
[To Democratic members] We need more transportation choices, not fewer, so I applaud Gov. Holden for including $8.9 million for St. Louis-Kansas City Amtrak service in his FY2004 budget. I urge you to work for adoption of that amount.
[To Republican members] We need more transportation choices, not fewer, so please work to preserve the $8.9 million for St. Louis-Kansas City Amtrak service in the governor's FY2004 budget.
Meanwhile, we stand to lose one of our two daily round-trips at the end of February if the state does not provide $1.2 million more for the current fiscal year. This is not new information; we've known it since last summer. Please work to secure these funds.
Again, please work for the $1.2 million needed to save the "Mules" during March-June, and the $8.9 million needed to run both pairs of trains in FY 2004. Please be sure to tell Senator Gibbons (Senate Majority Leader Mike Gibbons), Senator John Griesheimer and Senator Wayne Goode of your support for this funding.
Sincerely [your name and FULL, REGULAR ADDRESS]
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