History UsefulNotes / Amtrak

21st Jul '17 1:50:57 PM Jhonny
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So Congress passed a law ending this requirement and replacing it with a skeletal network that became Amtrak. It began service in May of 1971. Though ridership has rebounded enormously since then, the network is run on a [[NoBudget very small budget]], so certain priorities have to be set. It doesn't help that it is continually subject to ExecutiveMeddling from Congress, making silly mandates such as requiring Amtrak to carry guns in checked baggage (without providing any funds for lockable cabinets for said guns), as well as threats to [[WhatAnIdiot cut off funding for onboard food service]]. Then, of course, are the continual [[ArtisticLicenseEconomics demands that Amtrak somehow pay for itself]], despite no other passenger rail system in the world making a profit, and despite [[{{Hypocrite}} massive federal funding for competing highways and airports]]. Things got a bit better during the Vice-Presidency of RailEnthusiast [[UsefulNotes/JoeBiden Joe Biden]], while the increasing costs and [[OverreactingAirportSecurity general unpleasantness]] of air travel, plus highways becoming increasingly congested and in some cases, rather boring to drive (especially through flat, practically featureless farmland), resulted in Amtrak ridership numbers topping 30 million for five straight years (FY 2011-2015), breaking ridership records several times along the way. Amtrak is also famous for making GOP senators who cry for the abandonment of all rail travel shriek in horror if a closure of a line through ''their'' state is proposed. Amtrak does bring vital tourist dollars to rural areas of FlyOverCountry (for the precise reason that a train does not fly over said country) and pretty much every politician knows and acknowledges this, the only question is whether the funding for Amtrak is worth that. The answer depends highly on whose district the line runs through. The current Amtrak system map has about as much to do with politics as it does with transportation or the behavior of host railroads.

to:

So Congress passed a law ending this requirement and replacing it with a skeletal network that became Amtrak. It began service in May of 1971. Though ridership has rebounded enormously since then, the network is run on a [[NoBudget very small budget]], so certain priorities have to be set. It doesn't help that it is continually subject to ExecutiveMeddling from Congress, making silly mandates such as requiring Amtrak to carry guns in checked baggage (without providing any funds for lockable cabinets for said guns), as well as threats to [[WhatAnIdiot cut off funding for onboard food service]]. Then, of course, are the continual [[ArtisticLicenseEconomics demands that Amtrak somehow pay for itself]], despite no other non high speed passenger rail system in the world making a profit, and despite [[{{Hypocrite}} massive federal funding for competing highways and airports]]. Things got a bit better during the Vice-Presidency of RailEnthusiast [[UsefulNotes/JoeBiden Joe Biden]], while the increasing costs and [[OverreactingAirportSecurity general unpleasantness]] of air travel, plus highways becoming increasingly congested and in some cases, rather boring to drive (especially through flat, practically featureless farmland), resulted in Amtrak ridership numbers topping 30 million for five straight years (FY 2011-2015), breaking ridership records several times along the way. Amtrak is also famous for making GOP senators who cry for the abandonment of all rail travel shriek in horror if a closure of a line through ''their'' state is proposed. Amtrak does bring vital tourist dollars to rural areas of FlyOverCountry (for the precise reason that a train does not fly over said country) and pretty much every politician knows and acknowledges this, the only question is whether the funding for Amtrak is worth that. The answer depends highly on whose district the line runs through. The current Amtrak system map has about as much to do with politics as it does with transportation or the behavior of host railroads.
21st Jul '17 1:49:30 PM Jhonny
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Amtrak, the UsefulNotes/{{trademark}} name of The National Passenger Railway Corporation, is the national railway of the United States. Privately-owned passenger trains in the US had always operated at a loss or barely covering costs[[note]]They were mostly intended as a loss leader to get [=CEOs=] to sign on to lucrative freight contracts and/or to make land of places served more lucrative[[/note]], as with most passenger rail lines in the world. As car ownership and passenger flights exploded following UsefulNotes/WorldWarII,[[note]]In part due to massive government spending on the development of many advances in aviation for military purposes, the Interstate Highway System and other measures that benefited road and air travel while railroads still paid taxes, sometimes even taxes specifically earmarked for road or air travel[[/note]] many railroad companies were going out of business, in part because the government required them to provide passenger service. In 1969, the largest bankruptcy in history at that point was the Penn Central Railroad[[note]]A merger of two major East Coast railways, which arguably massively botched the merging process at a time when they could not afford to make any mistakes[[/note]], essentially bankrupted by money-losing passenger service, and it proceeded to get worse (more big railroads would go under) if something wasn't done.

to:

Amtrak, the UsefulNotes/{{trademark}} name of The National Passenger Railway Corporation, is the national railway of the United States. Privately-owned passenger trains in the US had always operated at a loss or barely covering costs[[note]]They were mostly intended as a loss leader to get [=CEOs=] to sign on to lucrative freight contracts and/or to make land of places served more lucrative[[/note]], as with most passenger rail lines in the world.lucrative[[/note]]. As car ownership and passenger flights exploded following UsefulNotes/WorldWarII,[[note]]In part due to massive government spending on the development of many advances in aviation for military purposes, the Interstate Highway System and other measures that benefited road and air travel while railroads still paid taxes, sometimes even taxes specifically earmarked for road or air travel[[/note]] many railroad companies were going out of business, in part because the government required them to provide passenger service. In 1969, the largest bankruptcy in history at that point was the Penn Central Railroad[[note]]A merger of two major East Coast railways, which arguably massively botched the merging process at a time when they could not afford to make any mistakes[[/note]], essentially bankrupted by money-losing passenger service, and it proceeded to get worse (more big railroads would go under) if something wasn't done.
7th Jul '17 1:16:31 PM WaterBlap
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Following the 2016 elections, conflicting messages came as regards passenger rail travel in the US. On the one hand UsefulNotes/DonaldTrump had campaigned on an infrastructure package and praised Asian and European UsefulNotes/HighSpeedRail, but on the other hand, Trump's first budget proposal included an 18% cut to the department of transportation and the end of all subsidies for Amtrak's long distance trains, potentially resulting in the end of all train service to some 30 states and the end of Amtrak as we know it. However, this is by far not the first time Republicans have tried defunding Amtrak and it remains to be seen what the budget will look like after Congressional deliberations, especially since many "red states" would be the hardest hit by cuts to Amtrak, a phenomenon which has kept many routes alive in the past.
29th Mar '17 7:07:31 AM Jhonny
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Following the 2016 elections, conflicting messages came as regards passenger rail travel in the US. On the one hand UsefulNotes/DonaldTrump had campaigned on an infrastructure package and praised Asian and European UsefulNotes/HighSpeedRail, but on the other hand, Trump's first budget proposal included an 18% cut to the department of transportation and the end of all subsidies for Amtrak's long distance trains, potentially resulting in the end of all train service to some 30 states and the Amtrak as we know it. However, this is by far not the first time Republicans have tried defunding Amtrak and it remains to be seen what the budget will look like after Congressional deliberations, especially since many "red states" would be the hardest hit by cuts to Amtrak, a phenomenon which has kept many routes alive in the past.

to:

Following the 2016 elections, conflicting messages came as regards passenger rail travel in the US. On the one hand UsefulNotes/DonaldTrump had campaigned on an infrastructure package and praised Asian and European UsefulNotes/HighSpeedRail, but on the other hand, Trump's first budget proposal included an 18% cut to the department of transportation and the end of all subsidies for Amtrak's long distance trains, potentially resulting in the end of all train service to some 30 states and the end of Amtrak as we know it. However, this is by far not the first time Republicans have tried defunding Amtrak and it remains to be seen what the budget will look like after Congressional deliberations, especially since many "red states" would be the hardest hit by cuts to Amtrak, a phenomenon which has kept many routes alive in the past.
29th Mar '17 7:06:57 AM Jhonny
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Added DiffLines:

Following the 2016 elections, conflicting messages came as regards passenger rail travel in the US. On the one hand UsefulNotes/DonaldTrump had campaigned on an infrastructure package and praised Asian and European UsefulNotes/HighSpeedRail, but on the other hand, Trump's first budget proposal included an 18% cut to the department of transportation and the end of all subsidies for Amtrak's long distance trains, potentially resulting in the end of all train service to some 30 states and the Amtrak as we know it. However, this is by far not the first time Republicans have tried defunding Amtrak and it remains to be seen what the budget will look like after Congressional deliberations, especially since many "red states" would be the hardest hit by cuts to Amtrak, a phenomenon which has kept many routes alive in the past.
29th Mar '17 5:43:51 AM Morgenthaler
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* The ''Keystone Service'' from New York to Harrisburg via Philadelphia. There's also one train per day that goes beyond Harrisburg to {{Pittsburgh}}, which is labeled the Pennsylvanian. The section between Philadelphia and Harrisburg (known as the Keystone Corridor) is Amtrak's only electrified corridor outside of the Northeast Corridor, though as with most service, electrification ends at Harrisburg.

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* The ''Keystone Service'' from New York to Harrisburg via Philadelphia. There's also one train per day that goes beyond Harrisburg to {{Pittsburgh}}, UsefulNotes/{{Pittsburgh}}, which is labeled the Pennsylvanian. The section between Philadelphia and Harrisburg (known as the Keystone Corridor) is Amtrak's only electrified corridor outside of the Northeast Corridor, though as with most service, electrification ends at Harrisburg.
20th Feb '17 5:46:19 PM Jhonny
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* Union Station, UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC is Amtrak's headquarters, the second busiest station, and just a few blocks from the Capitol. Well known for being a tourist attraction in its own right, with beautiful architecture and many shops, not unlike New York's Grand Central Terminal. It is not uncommon for VIP's to be seem riding the train from Washington, the most notable being Delaware Senator (and former [[UsefulNotes/AmericanPoliticalSystem Vice President]]) Joe Biden, who ''never had a residence in Washington'' until he became VP, and commuted to his home in Wilmington by Amtrak for 20+ years. It has a connection to the UsefulNotes/WashingtonMetro on the latter's Red Line, as well as commuter rail service into Maryland and Virginia by way of MARC and Virginia Railway Express, respectively.

to:

* Union Station, UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC is Amtrak's headquarters, the second busiest station, and just a few blocks from the Capitol. Well known for being a tourist attraction in its own right, with beautiful architecture and many shops, not unlike New York's Grand Central Terminal. It is not uncommon for VIP's to be seem riding the train from Washington, the most notable being Delaware Senator (and former [[UsefulNotes/AmericanPoliticalSystem Vice President]]) Joe Biden, who ''never had a residence in Washington'' until he became VP, and commuted to his home in Wilmington by Amtrak for 20+ years. How did "Amtrak Joe" return home after his term was over? Why, on Amtrak of course. It has a connection to the UsefulNotes/WashingtonMetro on the latter's Red Line, as well as commuter rail service into Maryland and Virginia by way of MARC and Virginia Railway Express, respectively.
20th Feb '17 7:21:27 AM Peacemaker36
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* Union Station, UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC is Amtrak's headquarters, the second busiest station, and just a few blocks from the Capitol. Well known for being a tourist attraction in its own right, with beautiful architecture and many shops, not unlike New York's Grand Central Terminal. It is not uncommon for VIP's to be seem riding the train from Washington, the most notable being Delaware Senator (and current [[UsefulNotes/AmericanPoliticalSystem Vice President]]) Joe Biden, who ''never had a residence in Washington'' until he became VP, and commuted to his home in Wilmington by Amtrak for 20+ years. It has a connection to the UsefulNotes/WashingtonMetro on the latter's Red Line, as well as commuter rail service into Maryland and Virginia by way of MARC and Virginia Railway Express, respectively.

to:

* Union Station, UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC is Amtrak's headquarters, the second busiest station, and just a few blocks from the Capitol. Well known for being a tourist attraction in its own right, with beautiful architecture and many shops, not unlike New York's Grand Central Terminal. It is not uncommon for VIP's to be seem riding the train from Washington, the most notable being Delaware Senator (and current former [[UsefulNotes/AmericanPoliticalSystem Vice President]]) Joe Biden, who ''never had a residence in Washington'' until he became VP, and commuted to his home in Wilmington by Amtrak for 20+ years. It has a connection to the UsefulNotes/WashingtonMetro on the latter's Red Line, as well as commuter rail service into Maryland and Virginia by way of MARC and Virginia Railway Express, respectively.
25th Dec '16 9:28:19 AM ADrago
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* Penn Station, UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity is the busiest station in the United States. The original station was a beaux-arts masterpiece that was controversially [[PermanentlyMissableContent demolished]] in 1964 to build the new Madison Square Garden, and the entire station complex is now underground. Amtrak is currently planning to move the station to the James Farley Post Office and will rename it Moynihan Station in honor of the late U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who created the idea of rebuilding the historic Penn Station. However, due to lack of funds and various political infighting this plan is currently stuck in DevelopmentHell, meaning the current overcrowded Penn Station will likely remain in use for quite some time to come.

to:

* Penn Station, UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity is the busiest station in the United States. The original station was a beaux-arts masterpiece that was controversially [[PermanentlyMissableContent demolished]] demolished in 1964 to build the new Madison Square Garden, and the entire station complex is now underground. Amtrak is currently planning to move the station to the James Farley Post Office and will rename it Moynihan Station in honor of the late U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who created the idea of rebuilding the historic Penn Station. However, due to lack of funds and various political infighting this plan is currently stuck in DevelopmentHell, meaning the current overcrowded Penn Station will likely remain in use for quite some time to come.
22nd Dec '16 9:51:04 AM Jhonny
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Amtrak, the UsefulNotes/{{trademark}} name of The National Passenger Railway Corporation, is the national railway of the United States. Privately-owned passenger trains in the US had always operated at a loss or barely covering costs[[note]]They were mostly intended as a loss leader to get [=CEOs=] to sign on to lucrative freight contracts and/or to make land of places served more lucrative[[/note]], as with most passenger rail lines in the world. As car ownership and passenger flights exploded following UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, many railroad companies were going out of business, in part because the government required them to provide passenger service. In 1969, the largest bankruptcy in history at that point was the Penn Central Railroad[[note]]A merger of two major East Coast railways, which arguably massively botched the merging process at a time when they could not afford to make any mistakes[[/note]], essentially bankrupted by money-losing passenger service, and it proceeded to get worse (more big railroads would go under) if something wasn't done.

to:

Amtrak, the UsefulNotes/{{trademark}} name of The National Passenger Railway Corporation, is the national railway of the United States. Privately-owned passenger trains in the US had always operated at a loss or barely covering costs[[note]]They were mostly intended as a loss leader to get [=CEOs=] to sign on to lucrative freight contracts and/or to make land of places served more lucrative[[/note]], as with most passenger rail lines in the world. As car ownership and passenger flights exploded following UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, UsefulNotes/WorldWarII,[[note]]In part due to massive government spending on the development of many advances in aviation for military purposes, the Interstate Highway System and other measures that benefited road and air travel while railroads still paid taxes, sometimes even taxes specifically earmarked for road or air travel[[/note]] many railroad companies were going out of business, in part because the government required them to provide passenger service. In 1969, the largest bankruptcy in history at that point was the Penn Central Railroad[[note]]A merger of two major East Coast railways, which arguably massively botched the merging process at a time when they could not afford to make any mistakes[[/note]], essentially bankrupted by money-losing passenger service, and it proceeded to get worse (more big railroads would go under) if something wasn't done.
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