Long standing questions about Amtrak accounting

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Train Attendant
Dec 12, 2022
Waiting for Amtrak to clear
It is. It’s the idea that Amtrak misappropriates expenses to the LD Service Line to improve the appearance of the NEC and State-Supported Service Lines by doing things like appropriating snow removal costs to Miami or allocating track maintenance seemingly unfairly to long distance trains. Apparently Amtrak ultimately picked up its accounting practices from the PRR, which had by the late Fifties developed the practice of misappropriation of expenses to long distance passenger trains to help gain ICC approval for cancellation of service. There is obviously something wrong. E.g. It makes no sense for the Silver Star and Auto Train to have effectively the same cost allocations despite the AT having two designated terminals requiring significant human and capital resources and the significantly larger OBS staffing. The problem is I’m not sure at this point anybody really knows how to untangle the mess, and even if they did, I doubt Amtrak really wants to see that their “cash cow” might not actually be so.