Re: “Biden helps his Amtrak family celebrate its 50th anniversary” [April 29, Business]:

Readers get a sense of how much Amtrak has meant to the president over the five decades of its existence, but Amtrak needs to be a vibrant part of our future as well.

Data show that rail has a dramatically smaller energy footprint than trucks and passenger cars. Trains can be electrified by overhead or buried power lines, reducing our need for resource-intensive batteries. Freight trains will benefit from double and triple tracking where necessary for Amtrak, and trucks as well as their cargo can be transported on trains, relieving our overused roadways and reducing pollution caused by tires and brake pads.

People who don’t drive cars will have an attractive option in a revitalized Amtrak that runs faster, more frequently, more reliably — and not just on the East Coast, where President Joe Biden became family to many Amtrak workers over the years, but here in the West as well.

We’ve got the Amtrak Cascades Long Range Plan nearly shovel ready for implementation: hourly trips of 2.5 hours between Seattle and Portland, every other hour from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C.

Let’s work with our representatives and our governor to make the Cascades long-range plan a reality by 2030.

Mary Paterson, Seattle, volunteer with Climate Rail Alliance