The Amtrak CEO was certainly right and I was impressed with the interview. Certainly Amtrak is a victim of the pandemic as are so many other travel businesses. But I was also encouraged by the Montana governor pushing for as much service as possible. We all should understand that when there is some semblance of normal at the other end of the pandemic, demand for rail traffic will be greater than ever as cars once again clog the roads.
MP David Kilgour (Edmonton-Strathcona) who was quite a student of parliamentary structures once told me that if the Canadian Senate had the power of the U.S. Senate, Canada would have retained a national rail passenger system. Every U.S. federal administration since Johnson has tried to cut back Amtrak; it's been the Senate, working as the Founding Fathers intended, that has kept us together.This video reinforces the concern I have about Amtrak weathering this storm. The cleaning protocol is a good thing, and I hope that this means that the LD services are seeing the bathrooms getting cleaned more frequently while enroute than they use to see. But even after we beat this bug there may be a lingering concern about germs and that could make cars even more attractive in the future. In other cultures it is mass transit or you don't travel due to the expense of owning your own car. Here car ownership isn't quite as expensive and the roads are efficient enough to get us all to where we want to go with a minimum of hassles. Europeans and Asians pretty much have to use mass transit and will do so in the future. Americans don't have to and US mass transit as a whole may see a drop in usage in the years to come. I hate to even think about what impact this will have on traffic in medium to large cities in the years to come.
It is nice to see Senator Daines, about as conservative a Republican as you will find, touting the Empire Builders Long Distance service. On this issue there is bipartisan support and I think that will be what keeps Amtrak fully funded and will return the service levels to pre-pandemic levels relatively soon, even if ridership takes years to recover.
Having followed this since the 1960's I would say that the previous administration might have been the least bad - or the most subtle - in its dealings with Amtrak. Things that they signed off on set the stage for others to subsequently be blamed.
A couple of points:Having followed this since the 1960's I would say that the previous administration might have been the least bad - or the most subtle - in its dealings with Amtrak. Things that they signed off on set the stage for others to subsequently be blamed.
Under pressure to reduce its dependence on federal subsidies, Amtrak is looking at either closing 28 short-haul routes or getting 19 states to share the costs.www.nytimes.com
Putting the states in a situation in which they can get up to 90-92% from the Feds for highway projects or pay 100% of the cost for Amtrak service is a kind of land mine that will go off when a budget crunch hits.
It was CEO Anderson who first proposed cutting Amtrak LD trains. This while the former CEO Boardman warned of the loss of income from the LD trains. CEO Anderson had pre pandemic began cutting crews on dining cars and replacing with TV dinners. So this is how the previous administration had tried to cutback. Please notice former CEO Anderson has stayed on as a consultant.
I'm referring to President of the United States, not President of Amtrak. I thought that was clear from the context of the series of messages quoted.It was CEO Anderson who first proposed cutting Amtrak LD trains. This while the former CEO Boardman warned of the loss of income from the LD trains. CEO Anderson had pre pandemic began cutting crews on dining cars and replacing with TV dinners. So this is how the previous administration had tried to cutback. Please notice former CEO Anderson has stayed on as a consultant.
The Johnson administration implemented a drastic change in postal transport policies in September 1967 that resulted in train-off applications by the score. While many people today think only of the glamorous streamliners, the "mail trains" filled in schedule gaps, backed up missed connections, and shared fixed costs with better known trains. Some of them had customer loyalty, mainly among small city business people or family travelers: the Mainstreeter, Western Star and Portland Rose were all in that class.Since Johnson? Amtrak was established by Nixon. There was no Amtrak during the Johnson years.