The Passenger Rail Future is National

Two recent posts underscore why cutting up Amtrak is a pipe dream:

1. The national network is still the only configuration that will consistently receive the amount of political support needed to maintain reliable rail service.

Remember ‘National or Nothing’?

2. Those who are naive enough to believe that Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor could be spun off into a profit-making enterprise need to look at the century-long backlog of huge and very expensive maintenance that needs to be done to make that viable. And in the meantime, Amtrak’s cash cow is facing competition from services like this one:

Better Than the Acela: A Review of AA’s Shuttle Service on the ERJ-190 From NYC to Boston

Some people want Amtrak to focus on the Northeast Corridor, and have little or no service anywhere else. Even in the very unlikely scenario that Congress approved such a plan, we’d end up with a future that would look like today’s VIA Rail Canadian train 1, which ran 37 hours late somewhere near Edmonton.

Contact your elected representatives and tell them that this is not acceptable!

Images from Green means on time or less than 30 minutes late. Yellow means 30-60 minutes late. Red means 1-3 hours late. Black means more than 3 hours late.

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