(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Following a call with Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta in which he informed her of the firing of Amtrak President David Gunn, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash), the highest ranking Democrat on the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee and long-time supporter of Amtrak services, released the following statement.
“Today, the Bush-appointed Amtrak board fired David Gunn because he refused to give in to their short-sighted determination to reduce services. Unlike the politically appointed Board members, none of whom have run a railroad, David Gunn has 41 years of honorable service in the railroad industry. Mr. Gunn inherited a badly mismanaged railroad on the brink of bankruptcy and cleaned up the books, improved service and brought ridership to record levels. This is the type of leadership American travelers deserve.
David Gunn still had much work to do. But, unfortunately for Mr. Gunn and the nation, his goals for a well-capitalized railroad that serves the whole nation conflicted with the Bush Administration’s goals to cut rail service and transfer Amtrak’s costs onto our already cash-strapped states. It is my sincere hope that when the Amtrak Board picks a permanent replacement, they will select someone with real railroad management experience, not an Administration crony determined to implement the Bush Administration’s reckless agenda.”