Amtrak’s mission statement

Not a big surprise to be honest, and I think a lot of politicians and people in general who complain about Amtrak needing subsidies, who complain that the federal government shouldn't be running rail service and so forth will be surprised when they find out the cost of what they wish for. Like with most things, this is a case where people /politicians who are from areas that represent why Amtrak loses money think that Amtrak subsidies are for 'those other areas' and don't realize they are a big  part of the cost. A similar thing is likely to happen with the post office, when recommendations come up that in rural areas they consolidate post offices into regional ones and stop home delivery, which is very, very expensive to operate on a per house basis, the same people who complain about the post office being a money loser will complain when they lose service. Every study of Amtrak has shown that the 'corridors' Anderson mentions could be operated on a break even basis or at least within the current subsidy structure, yet politicians and people resist when Amtrak proposes stopping service to lightly traveled rural routes and consolidate around densely travelled, high revenue areas. For the record, I am not in favor of that mindset, but I also find it funny that politicians when Anderson came out with this statement talked about the extra subsidies Amtrak got, when Amtrak has not exactly seen any real increase in subsidies in many years, especially if compared to subsidies to other transportation types. 

In the end it comes down to selfishness, the people who for example say if transit is meant to exist it should be operated by private businesses paying their own way, especially when it is for 'those people', what they leave out is how much "those" people subsidize "them", they don't see it *shrug*. 

I don't think long distance train travel on the major runs is why Amtrak loses money, I think they lose money because they are in the business of providing rail travel to places no commercial operator would go near, Amtrak was set up in the first place to keep train service going because private railroads don't want to operate passenger trains, and I think with Amtrak service they should be looking at things like economic benefits of things like the Northeast Corridor and the like, or the social impact trains might have for small towns that don't have easily accessible rail travel or where it is the only way for people to travel, or even as potential way to get people out of the way of a natural disaster who have no other way to travel. 

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

Feds payed for the North Baltimore Ohio intermodal yard. And the roads to get to it from I 75.    

They are paying for the Chicago rail traffic congestion fix, haven't heard to much about that one lately 

They paid for track improvements and tunnel enlargements to get from east coast to Chicago. Diverted funds from highway trust fund

All my information I read in Trains magazine or newspapers. All these projects have names that I forgot. 

clem k posted:

Feds played for the North Baltimore Ohio intermodal yard. And the roads to get to it from I 75.    

They are paying for the Chicago rail traffic congestion fix, haven't heard to much about that one lately 

They paid for track improvements and tunnel enlargements to get from east coast to Chicago. Diverted funds from highway trust fund

All my information I read in Trains magazine or newspapers. All these projects have names that I forgot. 

The subsidies that the freight railroads got on those projects is a tiny drop in the bucket compared to the subsidies paid on behalf of the trucking industry and the airlines. Railroads have to maintain their own rights of way and then pay property taxes on those same rights of way! No trucking company or airline has to do that.

The special excursion business that Amtrak has chosen to give up could be profitable, if Amtrak wanted to make an effort to achieve those profits. Instead they seem to have taken the position that it’s too much trouble to do that, so we’ll just be happy to lose money where it’s easiest.

Rich Melvin

So is that essentially Amtrak saying screw you to excursion operators? If an outfit like Collis P. Huntington goes out of business because they can’t run excursions which are their main revenue source? It seems like a gamble for a historical society to depend on a third party for access to track to operate excursions which are their main revenue source. VMT has other ways to make revenue, like merchandise, and FWRHS has other railroads to operate excursions on and NS is still willing to move 765. Amtrak or Anderson all of a sudden believes that excursions are not worth the trouble. It will be hard to get him to change his thinking.

palallin posted:

When trucks pay for their own highways and airports pay for their own airports, I'll support cutting $$$ for AMTRAK.

As someone that drove a semi for 16 years and paid fuel tax I can tell you with certainty that trucks more than pay for the roads they travel on. If all of the tax money collected from the sale of fuel was only used for maintaining the highway system, there would not be a pothole anywhere in the country.

Mike

Guitarmike posted:
palallin posted:

When trucks pay for their own highways and airports pay for their own airports, I'll support cutting $$$ for AMTRAK.

As someone that drove a semi for 16 years and paid fuel tax I can tell you with certainty that trucks more than pay for the roads they travel on. If all of the tax money collected from the sale of fuel was only used for maintaining the highway system, there would not be a pothole anywhere in the country.

Mike

How much did they pay for Federal/State Highway construction?  How much do the taxes cover n repairs more (or less) than the damage they do?

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO

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