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Response to KamaAina (Reply #59)

Wed Jul 24, 2013, 04:48 PM

65. They own the NE routes because they have the ridership to justify the maintenance costs

Most of their routes are not 'high traffic', with less than a half dozen trains a day. Amtrak is much better off using the freight lines in most of the wide open expanses of the country.

Amtrak is currently trying to compete in two markets:

1. Cross country travel
2. Rapid transit between major urban centers

The latter is a candidate for their own ownership of lines. However, since it is heavily subsidized by the entire nation, they are obligate to serve the former...probably at a huge loss. Trying to rebuild and own these lines would only exascerbate their financial problems.

And quite frankly, looking at how some of the high speed rail proposals in CA and IL are structured, these would be municipally run, like an airport or port authority...and as far as I can tell, not be part of the Amtrak system...rather competing with Amtrak for its most lucrative business.

Amtrak does a terrible job advertising. They should also forge stronger partnerships with car rental companies...so you have more freedom of movement once you get to their destination. They should also expand their wifi availability, and really advertise it...it might take longer than driving, but you can take a laptop and be productive the whole time, etc. And simple things like security...or at least better lighting, at the terminal....in order for it to work, people have to feel comfortable leaving their car there for a few days. And they have to cater to business travelors more in general. I just checked my local station.

1. Its in a bad part of town, and the only possibility of long term parking is an expensive garage - so you've got to get dropped off.

2. No lounge

3. No payphone

4. No quik-trak kiosk

5. No wifi

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Taverner Jul 2013 OP
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KamaAina Jul 2013 #59
LineLineLineNew Reply They own the NE routes because they have the ridership to justify the maintenance costs
wercal Jul 2013 #65
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