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Wash Post editorial, "Amtrak has reached a crossroads"

Wash Post editorial, "Amtrak has reached a crossroads"

Old May 4, 19, 4:48 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 838
Wash Post editorial, "Amtrak has reached a crossroads"

Statistics are tricky -- Amtrak almost broke even last year (Acela / NE corridor made a profit) but the need for long-term subsidies and the deferred maintenance (both tracks and train sets) makes it difficult to justify the long-haul cross-country routes. A few excerpts:


AMTRAK, The nationís passenger rail system, has, to use a cliched but nevertheless fitting expression, reached a crossroads. Nearly half a century after its formation out of the private sectorís loss-making intercity lines, the National Passenger Railroad Corporation is, in some ways, doing quite well. Carrying a near-record 31.7 million passengers in fiscal 2018, the system pulled in an all-time high $3.3 billion in revenue, with an operating loss of just $170.6 million. Though Amtrak accounted for less than 1 percent of all intercity passenger miles provided by common carriers (airlines and buses did the rest) in 2015, it is a vital transportation mode in the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington, where Amtrak turns about half a billion dollars in profit annually and helps reduce airport and road congestion.

However, when you account for depreciation (wear and tear on its assets), Amtrakís losses are much larger, requiring roughly $1.5 billion per year in subsidies from Congress. . . .
AndyPatterson is offline  
Old May 4, 19, 6:01 pm
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 19
But is anything really going to change? Probably not. Every member of Congress from outside the NEC either doesnít care or considers Amtrak to be a sop to the elites. The only time they care is when their once-a-day train gets threatened. And then theyíll pass some absurd amendment that handcuffs Amtrak leadership. Key bridges and tunnels and tunnels canít get funded, but itís a massive crisis because a station agent got eliminated in Kansas.

Time to break it up. The NEC will be controlled by the states along the NEC. Itís a vital piece of the infrastructure here and we have no choice but to fund it. Whatever is left gets funded by anyone that wants it. If states donít pay up, then granny is going to have to take Greyhound.
DailyGrind is offline  

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