View Poll Results: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

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  • Continue Subsidies at Current Level

    2 4.76%
  • Stop Subsidies for Amtrak completely.

    17 40.48%
  • Continue Subsidies, and Maybe More, but Improve Service

    20 47.62%
  • I have never ridden Amtrak, and never will.

    3 7.14%
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Thread: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

  1. #1
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    What Should be the Future of Amtrak

    What should be the future of Amtrak? Although Amtrak had revenue of $3.3 Billion in 2017, it still lost $194 Million. Is it reasonable to expect Amtrak to turn a profit? Roads are built using Federal, State and Local tax revenue. Often states extract Sales Tax revenue (General Fund) for road projects. The Federal Government is about to pass another huge "Infrastructure" bill.

    Why Amtrak train tickets are so expensive - Business Insider

    In an attempt to rescue the service, then President Nixon signed a law in 1970 that ensured government funding. This act created the National Railroad Passenger Corp., which eventually became Amtrak. Of the 26 railroads offering passenger service, six declined to join Amtrak.
    ...
    To this day, trains still have a low profit margin and rely heavily on subsidies to operate. According to the company's 2017 fiscal year report, Amtrak had a total revenue of $3.3 billion. Unfortunately, this wasn't enough to make Amtrak profitable. It still had a total operating loss of $194 million.
    ...
    According to Amtrak's company profile, it operated some 300 trains a day in 2017. In comparison, SNCF, the French National Railway Co., operated 14,000 trains daily. That's about 47 times as many trains, serving a nation that has a quarter of the population of the United States. France is also even smaller than the size of Texas.

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    Re: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

    Quote Originally Posted by Media_Truth View Post
    What should be the future of Amtrak? Although Amtrak had revenue of $3.3 Billion in 2017, it still lost $194 Million. Is it reasonable to expect Amtrak to turn a profit? Roads are built using Federal, State and Local tax revenue. Often states extract Sales Tax revenue (General Fund) for road projects. The Federal Government is about to pass another huge "Infrastructure" bill.

    Why Amtrak train tickets are so expensive - Business Insider

    In an attempt to rescue the service, then President Nixon signed a law in 1970 that ensured government funding. This act created the National Railroad Passenger Corp., which eventually became Amtrak. Of the 26 railroads offering passenger service, six declined to join Amtrak.
    ...
    To this day, trains still have a low profit margin and rely heavily on subsidies to operate. According to the company's 2017 fiscal year report, Amtrak had a total revenue of $3.3 billion. Unfortunately, this wasn't enough to make Amtrak profitable. It still had a total operating loss of $194 million.
    ...
    According to Amtrak's company profile, it operated some 300 trains a day in 2017. In comparison, SNCF, the French National Railway Co., operated 14,000 trains daily. That's about 47 times as many trains, serving a nation that has a quarter of the population of the United States. France is also even smaller than the size of Texas.
    Passenger rail in Europe is often much, much better than in the US. The TVG in France is excellent.








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  3. #3
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    Re: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

    Quote Originally Posted by Media_Truth View Post
    What should be the future of Amtrak?
    ...
    According to Amtrak's company profile, it operated some 300 trains a day in 2017. In comparison, SNCF, the French National Railway Co., operated 14,000 trains daily. That's about 47 times as many trains, serving a nation that has a quarter of the population of the United States. France is also even smaller than the size of Texas.
    France has quite a few populous cities that are all fairly close to one another. The closest thing the US has is the Northeast Corridor, which is not nearly as densely packed. So of course it would be cheaper to run passenger rail service in France.

    Much of the expense that the US faces is maintaining tracks that run through hundreds of miles of basically nothing - and often going up some high mountains.
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    Re: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

    Quote Originally Posted by Media_Truth View Post
    What should be the future of Amtrak? Although Amtrak had revenue of $3.3 Billion in 2017, it still lost $194 Million. Is it reasonable to expect Amtrak to turn a profit? Roads are built using Federal, State and Local tax revenue. Often states extract Sales Tax revenue (General Fund) for road projects. The Federal Government is about to pass another huge "Infrastructure" bill.

    Why Amtrak train tickets are so expensive - Business Insider

    In an attempt to rescue the service, then President Nixon signed a law in 1970 that ensured government funding. This act created the National Railroad Passenger Corp., which eventually became Amtrak. Of the 26 railroads offering passenger service, six declined to join Amtrak.
    ...
    To this day, trains still have a low profit margin and rely heavily on subsidies to operate. According to the company's 2017 fiscal year report, Amtrak had a total revenue of $3.3 billion. Unfortunately, this wasn't enough to make Amtrak profitable. It still had a total operating loss of $194 million.
    ...
    According to Amtrak's company profile, it operated some 300 trains a day in 2017. In comparison, SNCF, the French National Railway Co., operated 14,000 trains daily. That's about 47 times as many trains, serving a nation that has a quarter of the population of the United States. France is also even smaller than the size of Texas.
    Years ago, my Father-in-law(God rest him) had the terrific idea of keeping the rails intact, but exiting the passenger traffic venue. He proposed, and still today it makes sense to me, to use rail only for commerce, by loading and unloading semitrailers onto flat cars. I am fairly certain that interstate passenger travel by train has outlived its usefulness, but cargo would be a natural. The only proviso would be a better guarantee of delivery. I have tried using it and was scared away by the cavalier approach they took. Though that would seem an easy fix with the computer systems we have today.
    Regards,
    CP

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    Re: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

    Quote Originally Posted by Media_Truth View Post
    What should be the future of Amtrak? Although Amtrak had revenue of $3.3 Billion in 2017, it still lost $194 Million. Is it reasonable to expect Amtrak to turn a profit? Roads are built using Federal, State and Local tax revenue. Often states extract Sales Tax revenue (General Fund) for road projects. The Federal Government is about to pass another huge "Infrastructure" bill.

    Why Amtrak train tickets are so expensive - Business Insider

    In an attempt to rescue the service, then President Nixon signed a law in 1970 that ensured government funding. This act created the National Railroad Passenger Corp., which eventually became Amtrak. Of the 26 railroads offering passenger service, six declined to join Amtrak.
    ...
    To this day, trains still have a low profit margin and rely heavily on subsidies to operate. According to the company's 2017 fiscal year report, Amtrak had a total revenue of $3.3 billion. Unfortunately, this wasn't enough to make Amtrak profitable. It still had a total operating loss of $194 million.
    ...
    According to Amtrak's company profile, it operated some 300 trains a day in 2017. In comparison, SNCF, the French National Railway Co., operated 14,000 trains daily. That's about 47 times as many trains, serving a nation that has a quarter of the population of the United States. France is also even smaller than the size of Texas.
    Honestly, I have taken Amtrak twice. I like it. I am planning another longer trip soon. Much more humane way to travel.

    That said, i think we put it back in the hands of private carriers with the provision that the main carriers must provide passenger routes. There will be better service and a bigger priority for on-time performance. Also a bigger probability of high speed connections.


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    Re: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

    Amtrak should implement the "hub and spoke" model and deploy high speed rail between hubs.

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    Re: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

    my vote is don't expect it to make a profit, but keep funding it. making a profit isn't the most important aspect of a public service.
    Last edited by Helix; 05-15-19 at 08:26 AM.

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    Re: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

    Quote Originally Posted by DifferentDrummr View Post
    France has quite a few populous cities that are all fairly close to one another. The closest thing the US has is the Northeast Corridor, which is not nearly as densely packed. So of course it would be cheaper to run passenger rail service in France.

    Much of the expense that the US faces is maintaining tracks that run through hundreds of miles of basically nothing - and often going up some high mountains.
    Amtrak does not have any tracks. They run on other railroad's tracks. This is very costly for the railroads hosting Amtrak because Amtrak always has the right of way and the other railroads have to put their trains in sidings while Amtrak passes.

    Amtrak is a needed and well used along the East Coast. They also have a few areas in California where they are used. However, their trains through the Midwest and often through the Northwest are usually empty or close to it. They should abandon their routes that have few riders. However, government being what it is will never allow that.

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    Re: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

    Quote Originally Posted by Media_Truth View Post
    What should be the future of Amtrak? Although Amtrak had revenue of $3.3 Billion in 2017, it still lost $194 Million. Is it reasonable to expect Amtrak to turn a profit? Roads are built using Federal, State and Local tax revenue. Often states extract Sales Tax revenue (General Fund) for road projects. The Federal Government is about to pass another huge "Infrastructure" bill.

    Why Amtrak train tickets are so expensive - Business Insider

    In an attempt to rescue the service, then President Nixon signed a law in 1970 that ensured government funding. This act created the National Railroad Passenger Corp., which eventually became Amtrak. Of the 26 railroads offering passenger service, six declined to join Amtrak.
    ...
    To this day, trains still have a low profit margin and rely heavily on subsidies to operate. According to the company's 2017 fiscal year report, Amtrak had a total revenue of $3.3 billion. Unfortunately, this wasn't enough to make Amtrak profitable. It still had a total operating loss of $194 million.
    ...
    According to Amtrak's company profile, it operated some 300 trains a day in 2017. In comparison, SNCF, the French National Railway Co., operated 14,000 trains daily. That's about 47 times as many trains, serving a nation that has a quarter of the population of the United States. France is also even smaller than the size of Texas.
    It's asinine for something to lose money. Amtrak should be downgraded to being more of a local subway system. If that doesn't work then off with it's head. They had passenger trains in the 19th century for God's sake. Next up: The US postal service. Sell it off and let private business run it. If you have to rely on heavy subsidies then they shouldn't be around in the the first place.

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    Re: What Should be the Future of Amtrak

    Love Amtrak. The depot is close by and it is especially great when weather conditions are poor. I hate driving in heavy rain or foggy conditions. When I was still employed I appreciated the time I could devote to going over presentations that would be a distraction if I were driving in the metro- area .

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