Well, IF handled right, it could work....
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!!!
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
Keep in mind this is just the NEC. Which has Amtrak owned (not all) trackage.
Russell Straw, Sugar Land Route
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.