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Romney's proposed cuts could shutdown Amtrak
More people than ever are turning to trains for travel. Amtrak saw 31 million passengers board their trains in 2012. It was a record for the government subsidized company.
Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney says if he gets elected that subsidy will likely get cut.
Amtrak depends on this subsidy to keep their trains running. The company won't comment on the situation. But News 5 spoke with people around Hastings, who say they'd hate to see it go.
These days the only passenger trains through Hastings make stops when most of us are asleep.
But, according to the Adams County Historical Society, the railroad played a key role in the development of this town.
Nebraska has five Amtrak stops, connecting the east coast to the west.
"Out here I think it would be a shame if we lost it, just because it provides a way for many people to see the whole country and to see it in a leisurely way," said Jan Moore.
The times may be inconvenient, but the location is key.
"If you drive through the lot, you'll see cars from Kansas, you'll see cars from northern Nebraska, you know from west and east," said Hastings Chamber of Commerce President Tom Hastings.
Mitt Romney is talking about cutting subsidies. That could lead to a halt on the tracks.
"From the perspective of a small community like Hastings, honestly anytime we lose any service, you know, it's a blow to the community somewhat," Hastings said.
Hastings says he can't say for sure how big of an impact this would have on the economy.
"That's just another part of the community that makes it attractive to people who maybe want to travel from Hastings to other destinations," said Hastings.
But, both presidential candidates have to look at cutting spending to help cut the deficit.
Bill Morgan says he loves traveling by train. But his desire to keep the subsidy goes deeper than that.
"I'm suspicious of anything Romney says," said Morgan.
It's a political decision with a deep impact. No matter what the reasoning, the general consensus in this town is let the trains keep chugging.
News 5 wanted to find out what local politicians thought of the possible cut.
Nebraska Senate candidate Deb Fischer says we can't afford to spend money we don't have. So, every program is on the table.
News 5 also contacted the Bob Kerrey campaign, but they didn't get back to us with a stance on the matter.
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