After 48 years of providing long-distance passenger train services, is Amtrak preparing to scuttle these operations and dismantle its National Network? That nightmare prospect, long desired for decades by anti-passenger-rail politicians, now seems a real and perhaps imminent possibility.
WSP USA has promoted Maxine Hill to New York City area manager for transportation and infrastructure.
“Amtrak must be redefined” begs an immediate response, not just because of the attack on the stewards of Amtrak’s operation over the years, but due to a plethora of allegations lacking factual support.
Freight railroads don’t prosper because shippers have affection for them. Instead, railroads profit when their services are economically relevant. When freight services net customers fewer benefits than the prices railroads need to charge, the customers disappear and, soon, so do the services. These outcomes are not unique to railroads. They hold for all profit-motivated commerce.
Regarding Joe Boardman’s May 10 Opinion piece, the former CEO of Amtrak is railing against a situation he actually created. His actions left Amtrak in disrepair after eight years at the throttle.
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.
Joe Boardman was not my favorite person during most of his time as Amtrak President. When Boardman left Amtrak, friends wisely persuaded me to let it go. After he was gone, I said nothing negative about him. However, no one said not to praise him if he did something right. I did not expect that to happen.
Having spent much of my productive life at the state and federal levels observing, studying, regulating and then leading a rail management team, I am appalled with what increasingly appears a unilateral violation of the public trust by Amtrak’s current leadership to dismantle our interconnected, intercity rail passenger network, beginning with hollowing out of its long-distance passenger train service.
Amtrak and a Texas high-speed passenger rail project will link ticketing and other services in the Lone Star state.
The Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency is one of seven California agencies operating passenger rail to receive 2018 TIRCP (Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program) grants from CalSTA (California State Transportation Agency).