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Thread: Amtrak to go private?

  1. #1
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  2. #2
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    Well, IF handled right, it could work....

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    One very real outcome could be that any private contractor would skim off the potentially profitable routes and dump the rest, to the detriment of the rail traveling public. I may be mistaken, but I believe this is what happen early on with privatization in the UK until the government stepped in to block the practice.

    It would be wonderful if our "leaders" would stop feeding the American public yearly doses of fertilizer claiming that rail passenger would be profitable if only it were managed properly, rather than admitting to the truth the it, like air travel, bus travel, barge travel, etc., are ALL Public Services that would fail if not for government subsidies in the form of: Terminals, Traffic Control, Roadways, Waterways, ad nauseum.
    Hank....I may have to Grow Old, but I Never have to Grow UP!!!


  4. #4
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    it won't work, if it did, the UP and NS would be running passenger trains

    Modeling Casa Grande in the mid 1980's...before the BORG

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    Keep in mind this is just the NEC. Which has Amtrak owned (not all) trackage.

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    It's funny that the second paragraph describes Amtrak as a "for-profit federal corporation". I can't recall a time when Amtrak ver made a profit. Sell off what we can and scrap the rest.
    Greg Amer
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bremner View Post
    it won't work, if it did, the UP and NS would be running passenger trains
    I believe all the Class 1's and many of the larger regionals would support passenger trains if the USPS would return long distance mail transfers to rails instead of trucks. Probably be less expensive also.
    Hank....I may have to Grow Old, but I Never have to Grow UP!!!


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpa View Post
    It's funny that the second paragraph describes Amtrak as a "for-profit federal corporation". I can't recall a time when Amtrak ver made a profit. Sell off what we can and scrap the rest.
    I think it was in a recent Trains magazine article that explained that the only way to sell the whole concept of Amtrak to Congress and the White House at its creation was to include that phrase. The thinking was that it would fail after a few years and go away and they would not have to worry about it. Then came the big energy crisis of the early 70s and ridership went up. It then became politically desirable to keep it going a little while longer. So some money was put into it to placate the public for a while. And it has lurched along in that manner to this day.
    Russell Straw, Sugar Land Route

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by r_i_straw View Post
    I think it was in a recent Trains magazine article that explained that the only way to sell the whole concept of Amtrak to Congress and the White House at its creation was to include that phrase. The thinking was that it would fail after a few years and go away and they would not have to worry about it. Then came the big energy crisis of the early 70s and ridership went up. It then became politically desirable to keep it going a little while longer. So some money was put into it to placate the public for a while. And it has lurched along in that manner to this day.
    It's a weird double standard in our transportation system. Auto, truck, ship, and plane travel and shipping are all subsidized yet we expect just the flanged wheels on steel rails to be "self-sufficient."


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  10. #10
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    The key to why Amtrak has troubles is in their startup. Those who planned and executed that phase were not even close enough to talented for accomplishing such. When I was involved with these things, we looked at the whole story- Things Joe Public doesn't know or cannot comprehend.

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