"Give Amtrak a Fighting Chance"

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Jun 18, 2004

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a few brief excerpts:

EditorialGive Amtrak a Fighting Chance ....

It started out as a real victory for passenger rail:

... (but)

To get a big enough vote to override a threatened veto by President Bush, the House leadership obliged the worst instincts of Republicans.


Conferees from the two chambers should throw that privatization provision out as they reconcile the bills. Amtrak deserves this chance, without dilution, after years of being shamefully shortchanged. Its current funding is a woefully inadequate $1.2 billion. The bills would roughly double that, and sustain it for five years. That would allow long-term planning, instead of Amtrak’s yearly fight for life.


Where passenger rail works best, as it does in Europe, it is treated like the critical service it is and is publicly financed, like the highways.


the only sensible way to get there is by starting now, with the critical investment that Amtrak needs to keep the nation moving.