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The National Association of Rail Passengers (NARP) has presented its Golden Spike award to U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and U.S. Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Ann McLane Kuster (D-N.H.) for helping pass legislation aimed at improving rail connections between the United States and Canada.The lawmakers sponsored the Promoting Travel, Commerce and National Security Act, which allows for the upgrade of U.S. Customs and Border Protection pre-clearance facilities to ease the movement of people and goods between the two countries.Signed into law in December 2016, the law also expands U.S. pre-clearance operations to train stations for the first time. The move is expected to make it easier for American and Canadian passengers to travel by train, NARP officials said in a press release.In addition, the law clears the way for the extension of Amtrak's Vermonter north to Montreal to better connect Canadian consumers to New England tourist spots. The national passenger railroad's Adirondack, Maple Leaf and Cascades services currently connect to Canadian cities."This bipartisan effort is good, sensible policymaking — but it's more than that," said Jim Mathews, NARP president and chief executive officer. "By facilitating the connections between people and economies, these leaders are helping build a better and more prosperous America."
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