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Alaska Railroad Risks Losing Passenger Service

Alaska Railroad

Creative Commons / AER Wilmington DE

KTUU, November 20, 2013

Anchorage, AK – The Alaska Railroad is struggling to meet new federal requirements to carry passengers.

Any train in the United States that carries passengers is required to install new systems that automatically slow or stop a train to prevent certain types of accidents.

According to executives from the Alaska Railroad Corporation, the railroad has already spent $50 million on upgrades.

Without extra funding from the state, the state-owned corporation said it will no longer be able to afford the federally-mandated effort.

If the railroad is unable to meet a 2015 deadline, there will no longer passenger railroad service in Alaska.

“Part of this mandate, part of the difficulty of it, is not only the expense, said Susan Bell of the state Commerce Department. “It’s technology that is being developed as we go.”

In 2012, the railroad carried more than 400,000 passengers.

(Copyright © 2013, KTUU-TV)  Link to original article

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