Once again we are facing budget cuts to the Southwest Chief. President Trump’s 2018 Budget cuts transportation funds for long distance Amtrak trains from $1.4 billion to $738 million which affects funds for the Southwest Chief. My concern is while the House has restored these cuts, the U.S. Senate has not. I urge Newton Kansan readers to contact Senator Roberts and Senator Moran this week to tell them to restore funding to the Southwest Chief.

Did you know the Southwest Chief carried 52,214 passengers to and from Amtrak stations in Kansas in FY 2017? And that Amtrak spent $3,321,504 on goods and services in Kansas last year? Amtrak employed 19 Kansas residents and paid total wages to these employees of $1,441,330 in FY 2017.

I am a passenger on the Southwest Chief who visits family in Kansas. The Southwest Chief is very important to me.

— Barbara Schenkel, Phoenix, Arizona