@Ray Lombardo posted:
Is there anything in here appropriate for this forum? Where’s the moderator with the big delete key?
What do you mean? If we are discussing the viability of Amtrak which is a government corporation and people are arguing that Amtrak isn't cost effective and requires government subsidies (implying that airline travel is this entity that runs entirely without subsidies and makes billions), then yes, it is valid. If you are going to compare the need for something, you need to look at the reality of both the things being compared, not the image people have. Few businesses in this country, put it this way, operate without some kind of government subsidy or support, as hidden as some of it likely is. Can range from something like road use taxes on trucks, where the truck doesn't pay the total cost of them using the roads (trucks beat the tar, literally, out of road surfaces), to things like depreciation on equipment and other deductions (not saying we shouldn't be doing that, it is in theory how you get businesses to invest in new equipment, the reality is more murky), to a number of other things.
I don't think there are easy answers with train service, about deciding whether it is worth it or not, but it should be done with facts and figures and what the goal is, not with soundbites or "everyone knows' kind of arguments, that is what people are talking about.