Trains For America

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Mixed news about Amtrak

Although the House version of a funding bill that would increase money for both Amtrak and high speed rail has recently passed committee, the organization has been troubled by other issues this week.

First, the “American Financial Group,” an owner of Amtrak shares, has sued the company, claiming that it has failed to follow a congressional order to buy back its stock from them at a reasonable price and has made itself “worthless” through its policies. I won’t pretend to be a stock expert or anything close, but considering its resources, I find it hard to blame Amtrak for its “worthlessness.” If anyone was responsible for Amtrak’s woes, all signs point to the Bush administration’s shameful rail policy.

In news that’s of more concern to Amtrak riders, transportation advocate James P. RePass points out that Amtrak will be closing the Northeast Corridor from New Haven to Boston on June 14-17 for repairs. What’s distressing about this, he says, is that the company is not providing buses or any other alternatives for its passengers and has failed to contact the governors of the affected states. He corrently points out that this is not what Amtrak or rail needs right now, and I agree. A PR disaster in the middle of the busy summer months do not happy riders (or voters) make.

Filed under: Amtrak, , , ,

One Response

  1. What if Amtrak had the will and the resources to actually run trains during this outage?

    To be fair, Amtrak officials have said that the main problem is that they don’t have enough equipment. This implies that they can’t use the Acela coaches without the Acela engines, on non-electrified track. I’m no rolling-stock expert, but I’m surprised that they can’t just borrow a bunch of diesel locomotives and pull the Acela coaches with them.

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