April 11, 2018

ICYMI: Secretary Chao Commits to Working with Manchin on New River Train, Corridor H and Yeager Airport

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) questioned U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Amtrak’s decision to end private and charter trains – which would impact the New River Train service in West Virginia – and funding to complete Corridor H in West Virginia. To watch Senator Manchin’s questioning, click here.

“Amtrak’s decision to end charter services would have a particularly devastating effect on the annual New River Train, which runs from Huntington to Hinton for the Railroad Days Festival each year.  It’s been running for over 50 years, bringing in millions of dollars for the local economy. The loss of this service wouldn’t just affect organizations like the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society that operates the service, but local service organizations like Lions Club and Kiwanis that raise much of their funding during this critical time,” Senator Manchin said.

“Corridor H was designated more than 50 years ago in West Virginia and it’s still not complete. Once the new section is complete people will be able to drive all the way from Weston to Parsons without stopping, and also be able to go from Davis to Wardensville without stopping. Completing Corridor H is important to the economic growth and prosperity of our state. It will help West Virginia businesses and families and make it easier for our friends from out of state to come discover our natural beauty and warm hospitality.”

Last week Senator Manchin sent a letter to the President and Chief Executive Officer of Amtrak, urging him to provide more information to organizations on how they can appeal the newly established policy that would no longer allow Amtrak to accept private and charter trains. Read the full letter below or click here.

Yesterday, Senator Manchin met with state officials and local advocates, including Robbie Morris of the Corridor H Highway Authority; Jill Newman, WV Deputy Secretary of Transportation; Robby Queen, WV Assistant Secretary of Transportation; Mallie Combs, Executive Director for the Hardy County Rural Development Authority; and Tom Heywood and Peter Markham of Bowles Rice, to discuss funding for Corridor H. As Governor, Senator Manchin worked closely with officials at the state and federal level to complete half of the Corridor H project. In the FAST Act of 2015, the last infrastructure bill passed by Congress, Senator Manchin secured more than $2 billion in funding for West Virginia to invest in these critical projects.