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Quarterly Report on Amtrak's FY 2007 Operational Reforms Savings and Financial Performance

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On November 14, as mandated by the fiscal year (FY) 2007 Appropriations Act for the Department of Transportation, we issued our fourth quarterly report to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees on Amtrak's savings from operational reforms and year-to-date financial performance. Amtrak has realized almost $53 million of the $61 million in FY 2007 reform savings it originally anticipated. The shortfall in savings resulted from Amtrak eliminating its sleeper right-sizing and call center initiatives earlier in the year. Amtrak has made progress in implementing some of its reforms, most notably in streamlined food and beverage service and improved Acela service. Apart from its food and beverage services, Amtrak has made no progress in the major areas of route restructuring, full cost recovery of state-supported services, and labor efficiencies. Instead, significant budget savings came from favorable market conditions rather than structural change in Amtrak's operating environment. Amtrak's financial performance was stronger than expected. Amtrak's FY 2007 cash operating loss of $429 million was $56 million lower than its budgeted level of $485 million and lower than its $452 million cash operating loss in FY 2006. Amtrak's cash balance at the end of FY 2007 was $244 million, compared to $215 million in FY 2006. The lower cash balance reflects unplanned year-end spending of about $60 million to purchase leased coach and food service cars and prepay its FY 2008 Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program (RRIF) loan payment. As required by Congress, reports requested by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are subject to a 15 day hold before being publicly released. In compliance with that requirement, the report was withheld from public release until November 30, 2007.