Erik, Your airline vs Amtrak numbers are skewed as it is virtually impossible to fly anywhere in the U.S without flying through a major hub. To put this in the the form of real numbers: on 5/31/21 on one days notice I needed to travel from Boston to my home near Albany; airfare was something north of $1600 and took me through Tampa in a little over 7 hours; Amtrak was $32 and did it in less than 4 hours and without crushing my already damaged knee. 51 years ago when I worked for a NYS Legislative commission I frequently had to fly from Albany to Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester, Olean, Elmira, Massena, and NYC on a few hours notice. Try doing that by plane or train today. You can't because we've become so dependent on the automobile, and the airline deregulation of the`80's did not offer a suitable alternative for many of us. Rail service between MSA's of a predetermined population might be the answer.
But you must remember The Big Dig, it had to happen because vehicle traffic couldn't get to Logan, yada, yada. Now we need to spend billions more cuz Americans really want to go west on trains? "If we build it, they will ride."
Today, there are direct flights from Boston to Albany almost every hour but I do remember those days of flying through either Atlanta or Dallas no matter where you were going. I also remember the days when you could board a flight when there was only half the seats occupied.