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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • by pudge (1) on 2002.06.24 10:01 (#9940) Homepage Journal
    My feelings about Amtrak are mixed. On the one hand, the immediate economic impact of *not* paying for Amtrak would be more significant than just giving them the money.

    I'd love to see Amtrak succeed on its own. But if that can't happen, I'm afraid that I would rather it be limited to its most popular routes, or have the States pick up most of the tab.
    • I too would like to see Amtrak succeed. I find it difficult to believe that trains are completely unprofitable these days. Could Amtrak management be to blame? Wouldn't it be wonderful to have competing train companies? As a consumer, I'd enjoy lower ticket prices.
      • Passenger trains have been unprofitable since passenger airlines became popular. That's why Amtrak is the only one that does it, and it has always been subsidized by the federal government.

        No one -- literally -- wants to get into the private passenger train business. There is no viable business plan in it.

        That said, yes, Amtrak management can be blamed for part of the situation they are in, but I don't think they could get buy without government help in any case, unless they significantly cut back opera
        • Passenger trains have been unprofitable since passenger airlines became popular. That's why Amtrak is the only one that does it, and it has always been subsidized by the federal government.

          Actually, passenger rail has *always* been unprofitable -- at least compared to freight rail. That's exactly why Nixon created Amtrak. All the freight carriers were going to stop passenger service. One reason why passenger rail service seems so much more expensive than air travel is that air travel is better subsidized

          • Actually, passenger rail has *always* been unprofitable -- at least compared to freight rail.

            Not to be pedantic, but the only thing I can compare "unprofitable" to is "profitable".  :-) Passenger rail used to be profitable, back when it was the primary means of getting passengers across long distances of land. Freight was probably more profitable, and even back then, they combined freight and passenger cars, but still.

            And passenger airlines have never been profitable either, this is true. Southwe