There'd probably have to be some sort of tax rebate or reimbursement for those tracks to go back down, as well as financing for the capital cost. One of the biggest reasons why tracks come up is because of the expensive property taxes on them, which the railroads aren't anxious to pay.Sam Damon said:We're still a long way from such deals, though. Reading between the lines, I get the impression the railroads would only run passenger trains if public cash comes to rebuild the capacity they ripped up in the 1980s and 90s.
Witness: the ex-PRR Panhandle line; the ex-B&O Parkersburg-Cincinnati line; perhaps even the ex-DL&W line west of Port Jervis.
Uhh, yes.battalion51 said:There'd probably have to be some sort of tax rebate or reimbursement for those tracks to go back down, as well as financing for the capital cost. One of the biggest reasons why tracks come up is because of the expensive property taxes on them, which the railroads aren't anxious to pay.
Very well said, Joe! You beat me to it! OBS...Miami Joe said:It's only my opinion, so here's one from a 20 yr RR worker! :lol:
Unless our government decides to fund a national passenger railroad properly for the next 10-20 yrs, cross-country passenger rail will cease to exist.
Passenger rail was abandoned in the late 60's, because it was not as profitable as freight. In the 35 yrs that Amtrak has been running, no company has asked for it's passenger cars back to resume service and most of them ignore the monetary "incentives" to allow Amtrak to maintain OTP on its tracks!
The only portion of Amtrak that is going to be retained is the NEC! The current proposal is for the federal government to claim the NEC as federal property and contract the operations and maintenance to outside vendors like Herzog. Usually these companies make low bids for their services, but recoup money on yearly cost overuns that are covered by the train company.
On LDT's, consider this.
Anyone who decides to bid on an LDT will also inherit the rolling stock used on that route. The majority of the cars range in age of 25 yrs for coaches and the food service from 45-55 yrs old. With no US car manufacturers with real construction experience, I don't see any new cars in the future.
From what I've seen, the only companies coming forward to suggest they would bid for Amtrak routes are companies that have never operated a RR. They are individuals or consortiums that will set up operations after they are awarded the contracts.
British rail had 46 vendors that provided everything needed to run passenger rail while owned by the government. After privitization and years of accidents and neglect, the government had to step in and take back control of its rail system.
Not only did the government have to cover all debts of the contractor and claims from accident victims, they found out that the vendor list had grown to 240-270 vendors and had to cover their claims too!
So, I say again!!!!
Show me a passenger rail or mass transit system anywhere in the world that covers its costs, much less make a profit!