IOWA ASSOCIATION OF RAILROAD PASSENGERS 3349 Southgate Court Southwest #108 Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404-5424 319-362-6824 Voice, 319-362-7734 Fax or (Wulff Home 515-276-8888) www.simpson.edu/~iarp firstname.lastname@example.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11/12/01 Amtrak Reform Council Action Denounced (Urbandale, Iowa)---The President of the Iowa Association of Railroad Passengers (IARP), Henry Wulff of Urbandale, denounced the Amtrak Reform Council's (ARC) vote ordering Amtrak to draft its liquidation plan. "Coming one day after the Senate Finance Committee voted to include $7 billion in bonding authority for Amtrak, the vote by the Amtrak Reform Council appears to be an effort to close the train barn's door before Amtrak gets down the track." Wulff was particularily concerned that the ARC seemed to ignore its mandate to consider "acts of God, national emergencies and other events beyond the reasonable control of Amtrak." "As we approach the holiday season, the busiest travel time of the year, Amtrak should be devoting its full effort to meet the needs of a traveling public that wants safe, secure public transportation. Instead the ARC is forcing Amtrak to devote these precious weeks of optimum travel to diverting staff and resources to plan its own demise. Instead of serving the public and improving its financial health, Amtrak will be forced to waste valuable time and resources," said Wulff. Wulff called on ARC to "reconsider and rescind" its action. He pointed out that Amtrak has added more than 2000 coach seats nationwide, as well as additional sleeping cars to its overnight trains, in an effort to meet the public's demand. He stated that Amtrak must be an important part of the nation's passenger transportation system if Americans are going to be able to enjoy the freedom of mobility that is essential to a free society. IARP's top priority is to maintain the current passenger rail service in Iowa, the California Zephyr and the Southwest Chief. It is also working to obtain passenger rail service between Chicago and Council Bluffs/Omaha via Davenport, Iowa City, Grinnell, Newton, Des Moines and Atlantic. The Iowa Association of Railroad Passengers is a statewide, nonprofit citizens' organization which supports rail passenger serviceboth commercial and tourist service. IARP supports a solid rail infrastructure, quality freight service by rail and intermodal. The group was formed in 1981 to strengthen the voice of the rail user in Iowa. The group meets at various locations throughout the state. It's most recent meetings were in Osceola, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Burlington and Amana. IARP is affiliated with the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) in Washington, D.C. Membership information is available by writing to the Iowa Association of Railroad Passengers, 3349 Southgate Court, SW, Suite #108, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404-5424 or by calling (319) 362-6824, or at the group's website at www.simpson.edu/~iarp.