Friday, December 07, 2007

"Has Amtrak’s Time Come?" - Article in National League of Cities

Neal Peirce of the National League of Cities has a nice article titled Has Amtrak’s Time Come?

He notes that though there are record numbers Amtrak’s continued success could be in jeopardy:

Amtrak expansion could get derailed. Why? If demand keeps rising as seems likely, Amtrak estimates it will lack sufficient cars and backup equipment by the 2010-2012 time frame. Given the multiyear lead times for equipment design and manufacture, this means the procurement process needs to begin right away. Congress can help significantly if it moves swiftly on current bills — the major boost being a $1.9-billion-a-year subsidy recently voted by the Senate, and a separate Senate Finance Committee proposal for $900 million a year to let states issue tax-free bonds to finance new intercity passenger rail infrastructure.


  • The specifications, customers, manufacturers, etc. are all completely unready for this kind of expansion. While it's perfectly possible, I think anyone looking at the past 30 years would decide the best course of action, when contemplating America's passenger fleet renewal, would be to not hold one's breath.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:03 PM, December 07, 2007  

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