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Amtrak story airs Friday on CBS


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A CBS news report on the potential impact to Montana if Amtrak leaves is scheduled to air Friday on the CBS Evening News.

Correspondent Bob McNamara's report will air on the Eye on America portion of the broadcast.

CBS sent the news team to Montana last week to interview people about Amtrak. Amtrak said in February that unless it receives the full $1.2 billion it requested for next year, some or all of its long-distance passenger trains might have to be eliminated.

The routes that could be eliminated include the Empire Builder, which stops at stations in north-central Montana on its route from Chicago to Seattle and Portland, Ore.

The CBS team interviewed people in Western Montana and in Shelby. It planned to come to Havre but cancelled when a snowstorm on May 22 shut down part of U.S. Highway 2, stranding the team in Cut Bank.

Jerry Smith of Galata, one of the organizers of Save Amtrak in Montana, was a main contact for McNamara's news team. He said last week that the weather couldn't have been orchestrated better to show the need for the Empire Builder. The train continued through the snow, fairly close to its schedule.

"Everything came together, so to speak," he said.

Mark Good, the producer of the CBS team, told Smith that people in Cut Bank were pointing out the irony of the late storm.

"Now you know the only way to get out of here is by train,'" Smith said people were saying.


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