AMTRAK "reform"

"It was probably just a coincidence that Amtrak cancelled its Acela high-speed lines just" in time for some pompous bloviating on the Wash Times Op/Ed page.

"The irony goes even deeper when one recalls that Acela was supposed 'to carry [Amtrak] customers into the 21st century aboard 21st century trains,'"

Ironic because that was right about the time we started to subsidize SUVs.

"In fact, Acela was a relative Amtrak success before its current brake problems, generating enough revenue every year to cover operating costs. But don't believe that if only the federal government gave just a little bit more -- Amtrak is asking for $1.8 billion -- to save Acela, that Amtrak would somehow remain viable."

The $1.8 billion was actually a cut to AMRAK's operating budget, so they're technically not asking for an increase. What's really ironic (to use their phraseology from above) is that the higway budget was increased by exactly that same amount. Now you're talking oincidence!

"With mounting debt and a few fiscal crises later, Amtrak is still in need of federal life-support, something its defenders are willing to give....Rather, the 1970s-style thinking of an efficient rail service chugging along on the federal dole is one of the last remnants of the old liberalism."

The ver-profitable highways and airline industries, on the other hand, are an entirely different matter. Interstates began their funding in 1956, after all! And the deregulated airline industry should have been astounding with profits since Reagan's day.

"At the end of the transition period, states would choose which train company to use, Amtrak being just one among many."

New Jersey Transit is so much more fun than AMTRAK!