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Rep. Jack Quinn, R-Hamburg, the son of a railroad engineer, has been appointed chairman of the House subcommittee on railroads, a position he said will allow him to improve passenger and freight rail service in Western New York.

"My father, Jack Quinn Sr., worked as a union railroad engineer for the South Buffalo Railroad for over 30 years, and I am honored to be able to continue working for railroad interests in my generation," he said Friday.

The Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads has jurisdiction over all matters relating to freight and passenger railroads, including all matters related to railroad labor.

"This subcommittee is a great opportunity for Western New York with the railway industry so firmly rooted in the area's transportation infrastructure," Quinn said.

He added the chairmanship will aid his effort to help build a new intermodal rail and bus station in the Inner Harbor area. The plan that has the most support calls for locating a new downtown Amtrak station in the ticket lobby of the old Memorial Auditorium.

His first act as chairman has been to co-sponsor and lead debate on a bill that would set guidelines and procedures for counseling passengers and families affected by railroad accidents.

Quinn's appointment was supported by officials at both Amtrak and freight railroad companies and unions.

"The congressman has clear understanding of the challenges facing America's freight railroads and is committed to ensuring that our nation's freight rail system remains the finest in the world," said John W. Snow, chairman and CEO of CSX Corp.

"Congressman Quinn will be a strong voice in Congress for making our nation's rail passenger system a vital and growing part of our national transportation system," said George D. Warrington, president and CEO of Amtrak.

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