- Mar 30, 2011
We should be examining what other countries are doing and learn from them. Amtrak is in many ways unchanged from its 1971(or 1981 or 1991) versions, while other countries have changed their models significantly since then.
I disagree, Amtrak has evolved as well. Evolution is not just about adding high speed lines. In countries that built these it was typically the governments that took the initiative and stumped up the money. When you look at evolution that was driven by railroads themselves out of their own initiative and funds you are looking at smaller steps, and Amtrak has taken these too, for example with a computer driven booking and sales system and demand driven price categories, or just the continuous evolution and renewal of equipment to conform to the latest standards and requirements, including ADA compliance etc. To say the Amtrak of today is stuck in the same rut as the Amtrak of 50 years ago is a gross oversimplification.
If i may name some things that work pretty well in Germany for example but are still lacking on Amtrak, that would be a schedule enquiry system that does not limit itself to Amtrak's own services but provides connecting services for commuter railroads and even local transit to provide as much of a door to door schedule as possible.
But rather than saying Amtrak is behind here, it might be fairer to say Germany is ahead as there are plenty of European railroads who do not provide such a utility.