SANTA BARBARA (CN) – A railroad advocacy group claims the California Department of Transportation allows Amtrak to regularly and unconscionably delay passenger service by ceding right of way to freight train, in violation of the Rail Passenger Service Act.
The Santa Barbara County Coalition Against Automobile Subsidies claims in Superior Court that Caltrans blew off its request for “all records that would justify or explain the Division of Rail not enforcing the provisions of the Rail Passenger Service Act to reduce delays due to freight trains.”
The coalition claims that a March 28 audit from the Office of the Inspector General described “the Effects of Amtrak’s Poor On-Time Performance. … the report documents large financial losses Amtrak suffers as a result of delays resulting from the scheduling of freight trains by the host railroad.”
Amtrak employees routinely tell passengers that the regular delays, of hours and, in the Southeastern U.S., days, are primarily attributable to Amtrak’s yielding right of way to freight trains.
The Coalition is represented by Eugene Wilson.