Amtrak recently completed a $22 million restoration of historic Chicago Union Station’s Great Hall, including refurbishment and modernization of the skylight. Amtrak calls this project a “good start” to further improvements at CUS. However, the good start has very little to do with how the station actually operates.
Author: F. K. Plous
Railway Age editor William C. Vantuono wondered recently what exactly Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson is trying to accomplish by truncating long-distance routes, replacing fresh dining-car meals with MREs*, and replacing station agents with nobody.
Why doesn’t the United States have a big, fast, modern passenger rail system? Many passenger rail advocates claim it’s because passenger rail has enemies: The highway lobby. The auto industry. Big oil. The airlines. They don’t want trains because a successful passenger train system would damage their businesses.