Thus far in this series, we have focused on the narrow issue of Amtrak’s service reduction from daily to three-times-a-week on its entire long-distance train network. We discussed costs, ideology, Amtrak’s impossible demands for restoring daily service, and what Congress can do to prevent the harm that Amtrak management is inflicting on the riding public and their communities.
When it comes to the news of Jan. 16, 2020 of Amtrak approaching the State of Tennessee to gin-up interest in its latest pitch for the highly questionable PRIIA legislation, it is best to remember what long-ago Supreme Court Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis once said: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” As this action looks like a maneuver to manipulate Congress to allow Amtrak to disassemble long-distance trains and reallocate their equipment, I intend to ensure sufficient sunlight is evident here when Amtrak touts its newly discovered Nashville-Atlanta route.
As Amtrak, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, approaches its golden anniversary in 2021, it is quite apparent that it has squandered opportunities to mature into a stable and useful transportation entity, given the plethora of internal issues that have historically crippled Amtrak operating under the federal umbrella as a state-owned enterprise. Adding to this position is the impact from a shortage of experienced senior management.
First, a salute to Railway Age Capitol Hill Contributing Editor Frank Wilner for finally obtaining an interview with a senior officer at Amtrak, Executive Vice President Stephen Gardner. From my perspective, this article offers interesting revelations; yet, it’s still like pulling a thread from a sweater to slowly unwind the backstory as to why Amtrak conducts itself in such a secluded, secretive style, operating in a bubble seemingly oblivious to expressed concerns.
Watching Washington, September 2018: If two congressional directives are not aptly labeled “Cheech and Chong Provisions,” why is their sum “420” and their consequence a seeming hallucinatory decade-long cavort through the federal court system whose clashing opinions have pinged and ponged as if a Super Mario arcade game?
The Surface Transportation Board (STB) released two decisions on July 28 related to its oversight of Amtrak’s operations under the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA).
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is suing Amtrak in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts after the two companies failed to reach agreement on new, vastly increased access fees for MBTA commuter trains operating between Attleboro, Mass., at the Rhode Island border, and Providence, R.I., on the Northeast Corridor.
The U.S. Surface Transportation Board on Dec. 28, 2015 issued two interrelated decisions—a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and Proposed Policy Statement (PPS)—proposing revised definitions and policy guidance for passenger train on-time performance and preference. The STB is seeking public comment on the proposals, both of which would affect Section 213 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) as codified at 49 U.S.C. § 24308(f).
The Surface Transportation Board announced on May 15, 2015 that it will begin a proceeding to define intercity passenger railroad on-time performance for purposes of Section 213 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA), 49 U.S.C. § 24308(f). It also approved Norfolk Southern’s acquisition of approximately 283 miles of rail line from the Delaware & Hudson Railway Company, Inc. (D&H).