Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman did not mince words when he declared that the Highway Trust Fund in its current form is “dead” during a speech to the National Press Club. Boardman cited the fact that the 18.4-cent-a-gallon federal fuel tax, which has not been increased since 1993, has not been enough to keep pace with economic growth. Boardman suggests that lawmakers should replace Highway Trust Fund with a surface transportation program. In such a scheme, the mode-independent, result-oriented program would collect revenues through sources other than just a fuel tax, require meaningful fiscal support from Congress and choose projects based on expected results regardless of mode. In the same meeting, Boardman expressed his aspiration to see the new AEM7 electric locomotives from Siemens begin operations on the Northeast Corridor as soon as possible. On the other end of the country, Amtrak recently launched two new Talgo train sets for Cascades service, much to the delight of Washingtonians and Oregonians.