Anthony Haswell, the creator of the Amtrak rail line, has some harsh words about the state of the system:
Amtrak is a massive failure because it’s wedded to a failed paradigm. It runs trains that serve political purposes as opposed to being responsive to the marketplace. America needs passenger trains in selected areas, but it doesn‘t need Amtrak’s antiquated route system, poor service and unreasonable operating deficits.
Remember Ma Chalmer's soybean project and the diversion of the rail cars in Atlas Shrugged? I do :
Copper shortages make repairs impossible for Taggart. Under the Unification Plan, crucial materials are diverted to businessmen with Washington influence....Despite terrible conditions, the farmers of Minnesota have generated a huge wheat crop and need trains to carry it off. Dagny learns that Taggart’s cars have been diverted by the corrupt Cuffy Meigs to Louisiana, where they are used to carry soybeans for an experimental project run by the mother of a politician. The cars cannot be rerouted in time, and the wheat crop rots, guaranteeing starvation for many. The farming businesses in Minnesota are all destroyed.
Millions of dollars in tax money had been given to Ma Chalmers’ "Project Soybean," a sociological project intended to change people’s behavior, “for the purpose of reconditioning the dietary habits of the nation.” A bureaucrat explained the government’s action: “Well, after all, it is a matter of opinion whether wheat is essential to a nations’ welfare—there are those of more progressive views who feel that the soybean is, perhaps, of far greater value [than grain]."
Sounds like something that could come out of the mouth of any of the hacks within the Obama Administration, or the Democratic party.
Speaking of which, keep an eye out for Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today, as he flies to Detroit and New York (on private government jet, global warming be damned) to announce major "investments" in high speed rail. I think he's goning to give Cuffy Meigs a run for his money....