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Quick August 2006 update - I'm getting a lot of hits to this page from people searching for info about the size of Amtrak's seats and the amount of legroom. MORE TRAINS - Amtrak is adding several more Acela Express round-trips between Boston and New York on September 30, including weekends. By 2021 at the latest, the United States may join its industrial counterparts in Europe and Asia with a major system of high-speed trains criss-crossing our country in the rail equivalent of the interstate highway program. As D:F has reported over the last two years, there is a serious effort to upgrade freight and passenger service in this country. As we have reported in the past, Carmichael envisions what he calls an Interstate II program, the follow-up to Interstate I. The former Federal Railroad Administrator (in the first Bush administration) has been talking with top federal, state, and local government officials, including congressional leaders, freight railroad executives, and rail advocates all around the country.
He had proposed the $100 billion figure late July in a House committee hearing, only to be told by the committee's ranking minority member, Rep. Whereas, the freight railroads, to varying degrees, have been reluctant to get too involved in passenger planning for fear that it would infringe on their operations, now they are being brought into the process as full-fledged partners. While the much more modest $12 billion bond legislation pending on Capitol Hill has the backing of a veto-proof majority in the Senate, it has yet to attain similar support in the House. On the south end, between Washington and New York, he sees a need for the upgrading New York's Penn Station area (a safety problem first highlighted by D:F), as well as the catenary and the electrical system, a 70-year old infrastructure that has prevented the new Acela Express trains from operating at their intended 150 mph. In fact, once you get outside the NEC, where Amtrak owns most of its own right of way, and consider the 11 remaining corridors, the Young bill would declare the states are to build the corridors in a partnership with the freight railroads which own most of the rights of way beyond the NEC. The measure would be funded through loans or loan guarantees at $35 billion and state tax-exempt bonds at $36 billion.
One CSX chief executive has said the idea of 125 mph passenger trains mixing with 30 mph freights simply is not in the cards, however, at least one other freight CEO has said if 125 mph passenger trains were to operate, say between two major cities, he could run 90 mph intermodal trains. The freight railroads have the problem that they can't go to the investment market and get money for necessary upgrading. United Parcel Service (UPS) and other firms would like to use rail more often, as opposed to trucks. Amtrak President George Warrington and his staff met with top UPS officials at its headquarters in Atlanta. D:F has confirmed that the Bush administration is working to bring forth a national rail passenger policy. The Young bill reportedly was designed in such a way as to pacify such Amtrak critics as Sen.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS - Both trainsets used for training crews left Southampton Street yard in Boston on September 5 as a double-draft for Portland.
We have learned from an impeccable source there will be four daily round trips per day from North Station in Boston to Portland, Maine, seven days each week.
Meanwhile, push-pull training sets have changed their consists somewhat, and one set now remains overnight in Portland; the consists will change on alternate days.
Some dinettes and coaches are still being converted to push-pull mode as they are refurbished at the Bear, Del., shops. What sparked the attention of many opponents who otherwise would not have paid attention to the measure was a Bob Novak column July 30, the day the measure was set for the House vote. Further, the White House had rejected the idea of the government directly investing Social Security money in the stock market.
Bob Bartley, in his final days leading up to retirement as top editor for the op-ed page of The Wall Street Journal, got into the act August 2 with an editorial that proclaimed, "This bill may seem narrowly focused and benign, but its impact will be big and powerful as a speeding freight train. CSX is performing heavy track work on its Camden and Brunswick lines between now and November.
CSX stated the track repairs are essential to providing a safe railroad for MARC commuter and freight trains. While one track is removed from service, freight trains that would normally operate outside the commuter period may back up into the rush hour. Camden Line repairs began last week, and Washington to Brunswick repairs will be conducted from September 17 to 29.
During the October 1 week, Brunswick to Martinsburg rail work will be completed, and between October 1 and November 10 Camden Line tie work will be completed. Rail installation on the Alexandria branch (which connects to the Camden Line at Riverdale) and the Old Main Line (from Point of Rocks to St. Lubbock officials are backing a proposed Fort Worth-to-Denver Amtrak train, which would stop in their city, and now supporters of passenger service are trying to get Amarillo on board with the idea. The proposed Caprock Chief passenger train would stop in Amarillo, Tim Geeslin of the Texas Association of Rail Passengers said Thursday, meeting with Center City of Amarillo and chamber of commerce officials, and with aides to state representatives, reports the Amarillo Globe-News. Salt lake City's mayor and some of its citizens are outraged about Union Pacific operating trains again on the line that has not seen freight traffic in three years. Railroad officials claim the revocation clause is invalid because it was forced to remove tracks along a street to accommodate Interstate 15 construction.
The proposed route would run through the residential Glendale and Poplar Grove neighborhoods. Gonzales and her husband, Phil, purchased the home through Neighborhood Housing Services in the late 1980s as part of a renovation plan to upgrade the neighborhood. There's gold in them thar coalfields - or potentially, anyway, as the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad's officials see its expansion plans.
The STB could decide by year's end whether the railroad can proceed, but the railroaders will also have to convince investors it's worth the risk. If the construction costs, which don' t include the money needed for locomotives and freight cars, are high, so is the potential return. Environmentalists say investors will be facing tremendous risk as they gamble their dollars on coal, a fuel that could be the target of future federal regulations aimed at reducing air pollution as America deals with its role in global climate change.
More than one energy analyst has predicted that Wyoming coal will be in big demand by Midwestern and Southern utilities in the years ahead, and there's no doubt that the DM&E's essentially straight-shot route from the Powder River Basin coal mines to the Mississippi River offers a potential competitive advantage in transporting the coal.
Everything the DM&E project has to offer investors, however, will be offset by one enormous risk, according to environmentalists. Germany's national railroad system said last week it will spend $4.6 billion (10 billion marks) over the next 10 years to upgrade its stations.
German railway company Deutsche Bahn said that since 1994, it had already undertaken significant renovation work on about two-thirds of its approximately 6,000 stations, according to the Chinese news agency, Xinhua. The biggest single project in Deutsche Bahn's station renovation project involves Frankfurt's main train station. The railroad also plans to put some $550 million (1.2 billion marks) into upgrading its various stations at airports around Germany. This conference is spearheaded by members of the Amtrak Customer Advisory Committee and commuter advisory boards, and will focus on passenger rail and transit advisory organizations and advocates. Amtrak has agreed to give a discount of ten percent off coach fares for persons attending the conference. Guest speakers to include White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card (and former USDOT secretary). Claytor award for distinguished service to HEW Secretary Tommy Thompson, former Amtrak board chairman. THE TRAIN'S THE THING - "Rocky Mountain Rocket operating daily between Chicago, Denver and Colorado Springs.
In an effort to expand the on-line experience at the National Corridors Initiative web site, we have added a page featuring links to other rail travel sites. If you have a favorite rail link, please send the uniform resource locator address (URL) to the webmaster in care of this web site. Amtrak's former logo, also known as the "inverted arrow" or the "pointless arrow," used from 1971 until late 2000 when the current "Wave" logo took over. The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak (reporting mark AMTK), is a government-owned corporation[1] that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States.
Amtrak's origins are traceable to the sustained decline of private passenger rail services in the United States from about 1920 to 1970. From the middle 19th century until approximately 1920, nearly all intercity travelers in the United States moved by rail.[10] The rails and the trains were owned and operated by private, for-profit organizations. For a long time after 1920, passenger rail's popularity diminished and there were a series of pullbacks and tentative recoveries. The first interruption in passenger rail's vibrancy coincided with government intervention. The primary regulatory authority affecting railroads, beginning in the late 19th century, was the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC).
Railroads also were saddled with antiquated work rules and an inflexible relationship with trade unions. Today, the burden of nascent railroad worker pensions, including those of freight railroad workers, are financed by Amtrak, regardless of whether such workers were ever employed by Amtrak or worked in passenger railroad service. While passenger rail faced internal and governmental pressures, new challenges appeared that undermined the dominance of passenger rail: highways and commercial aviation. As cars became more attainable to most Americans, this newfound freedom and individualization of transit became the norm for most Americans because of the increased convenience.
In the 1950s, a second and more formidable threat appeared: affordable commercial aviation. In 1970, Congress passed and President Richard Nixon signed into law, the Rail Passenger Service Act.
Any railroad operating intercity passenger service could contract with the NRPC, thereby joining the national system. Participating railroads bought into the NRPC using a formula based on their recent intercity passenger losses. Any participating railroad was freed of the obligation to operate intercity passenger service after May 1, 1971, except for those services chosen by the Department of Transportation as part of a "basic system" of service and paid for by NRPC using its federal funds. Railroads that chose not to join the NRPC system were required to continue operating their existing passenger service until 1975 and thenceforth had to pursue the customary ICC approval process for any discontinuance or alteration to the service. Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad passenger trains, which operated in the roughly 100-mile (160 km) industrial corridor between Chicago, Illinois and South Bend, Indiana continue to operate as part of the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District system. The Reading Company maintained passenger services on short (less than 100 mile) lines from Philadelphia to each of Newark Penn Station, NJ, Bethlehem, PA, and Pottsville, PA.
The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad (the Rock Island) determined that the fee to join Amtrak was greater than the cost of the statutory five years of operations for its remaining intercity passenger service. Southern Railway relinquished some operations, but continued four routes, including its Southern Crescent.
The Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad (DRG) continued operating its portion of the original California Zephyr service, renamed the Rio Grande Zephyr, between Denver, Colorado and Ogden, Utah.

Several major corridors became freight-only, including New York Central Railroad's Water Level Route across New York and Ohio and Grand Trunk Western Railroad's Chicago to Detroit service, although passenger service soon returned to the Water Level Route with the introduction of the Lake Shore Limited.
Amtrak inherited problems with train stations, most notably deferred maintenance, and redundant facilities resulting from competing companies that served the same areas. On the other hand, merged operations presented efficiencies such as the combination of three West Coast trains into the Coast Starlight, running from Los Angeles to Seattle.
A Burlington Northern EMD F3 leads the North Coast Hiawatha into Yakima, Washington in July 1971. In its first decade, Amtrak fell far short of financial independence, which continues today, but it did find modest success rebuilding trade. Amtrak's early years are often called the Rainbow Era, which refers to the ad hoc arrangement of the rolling stock and locomotives from a pool of equipment, acquired by Amtrak, at its formation, that consisted of a large mix of paint schemes from their former owners. Ridership increased in the first decade of the 21st century after implementation of capital improvements in the NEC and rises in automobile fuel costs. Through the late 1990s and very early 21st century, Amtrak could not add sufficient express freight revenue or cut sufficient other services to break even. Before a congressional hearing, Gunn answered a demand by leading Amtrak critic Arizona Senator John McCain to eliminate all operating subsidies by asking the Senator if he would also demand the same of the commuter airlines, upon which the citizens of Arizona are dependent. Alexander Kummant, Amtrak's chief from 2006–2008, was committed to operating a national rail network, and he did not envision separating the NEC under separate ownership. In 2011 and 2012, Amtrak will celebrate its 40th anniversary with festivities across the country, starting the year-long celebration with National Train Day in May 2011. The first Amtrak train to offer free Wi-Fi service to passengers was the Downeaster in 2008, followed by the Acela Express in 2010 and the Amtrak Cascades in 2011. Like many railroads, some members of Amtrak's board have had little or no experience with railroads. In the 1990s, Claytor was succeeded at Amtrak's helm by a succession of career public servants. David Gunn (right) with Senator Joe Biden and Senator Tom Carper touring Amfleet dinette 28351's dining facilities in 2003. Gunn was polite but direct in response to congressional criticism of Amtrak, and his tenure was punctuated by successes in reducing layers of management overhead in Amtrak and streamlining operations.
In 2004, a stalemate in federal support of Amtrak forced cutbacks in services and routes as well as resumption of deferred maintenance. By upgrading tracks to accommodate high-speed passenger trains, freight trains would also benefit from better track and additional tracks, as needed. That fits right in with the ARC view that Amtrak should concentrate its focus on running the trains and serving the customers, and leave the infrastructure problems to others, another point that D:F was first to spotlight.
The feds would pay no more than $18 billion over 30 years, which is close to what is anticipated in the Amtrak bill. That is exactly the kind of feedback Carmichael has been getting in his efforts to get freight and passenger interests together for their mutual benefit to serve their totally different customers. David Goode of Norfolk Southern, for example, has told the ARC chairman that he needs federal funds to upgrade his corridors.
An upgrade in trackage to enable faster passenger trains also increases the capacity of the track for intermodal freight service. Since then, intermodal trains, UPS trains and others have added to the traffic, and the single-tracked lines do not allow for adequate expansion.
Funding for the complete national system, including long distance service, is yet to be proposed.
John McCain (R-Ariz.) and alleviate the concerns of the administration and the General Accounting office. Putting rail (both freight and passenger) on a level playing field with its competitors in the air and on the highway is what this story is all about. One set will remain in the Maine city while the other is out and returns to Boston for servicing. The spare set will fill in when maintenance and inspections are required - at 60, 90, and 120-day intervals for engines and cars," he said.
In addition to the outlets being installed inside the car for laptop computers and other electronic devices, cables are also added underneath each car to allow push-pull operations.
How could he allow a lavish retirement program for rail workers and their survivors when the rhetoric that had filled the air for months emphasized the sanctity of the lockbox on everyone else's retirement? Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) argued that for this reason, the bill set a bad precedent for Social Security reform.
Guest rewards members are eligible for a free Acela Express roundtrip, in the same class of service, to any Acela Express destination between Boston and New York when they buy two roundtrips (or four one-way tickets). In addition, temporary speed restrictions may slow all trains over certain sections of track until work is completed.
Denis) may indirectly affect MARC trains if freight traffic backs up onto the Brunswick and Camden Lines. On September 3, The Salt Lake Tribune reported the city's mayor, Rocky Anderson, declared war against UP's plans to run eight to ten 150-car freight trains daily through residential neighborhoods and school zones on the city's west side. 3 to UP declaring he had terminated the railroad's franchise agreement for the line with the city.
District Court for Utah last week, asking for a direct order preventing UP from restarting freight service along 950 South. The trains would pass within 50 feet of some homes, and the tracks are adjacent to a new elementary school. Opinions vary on whether that's the case, the Associated Press reported from Mankato, Minn. That's the railroad' s estimate of the cost of upgrading tracks and extending the railroad 260 miles into Wyoming's coalfields.
The project could generate more than three quarters of a billion dollars in annual gross revenue to the DM&E as it supplies fuel to power plants that feed America' s growing thirst for electric power.
The other two railroads hauling Wyoming coal take a more circular route to Midwestern utilities. The railroad' s entire route would be new or rebuilt rail with computerized dispatching methods aimed at allowing trains to travel in uninterrupted trips from Wyoming to the end of the DM&E line.
The largest railroad expansion project in a century is entirely dependent on rapidly growing demand for Wyoming coal, but coal can' t be burned without releasing carbon dioxide, one of the major contributors to global climate change.
If you read something you know to be amiss, or if you have a question about a topic, we'd like to hear from you. We hope to provide links to those cities or states that are working on rail transportation initiatives - state DOTs, legislators, governor's offices, and transportation professionals - as well as some links for travelers, enthusiasts, and hobbyists. It operates passenger service on 21,000 miles (34,000 km) of track primarily owned by freight railroads connecting 500 destinations in 46 states[6] and three Canadian provinces.
In 1971, in response to the decline, Congress and President Richard Nixon created Amtrak[8].
In 1946, there remained 45% fewer passenger trains than in 1929,[10] and the decline quickened despite railroad optimism. Until 1920, rail was the only practical form of intercity transport, but the industry was subject to government regulation and labor inflexibility.[15][16] By 1930, the railroad companies had constructed, with private funding, a vast and relatively efficient transportation network, but when the federal government began to construct the National Highway System, the railroads found themselves faced with unprecedented competition for passengers and freight with automobiles, buses, trucks, and aircraft, all of which were heavily subsidized by the government road and airport building programs.
From approximately 1910 to 1921, the federal government introduced a populist rate-setting scheme, followed by nationalization of the rail industry for World War I. The ICC played a leading role in rate-setting and intervened in other ways detrimental to passenger rail. A World War II–era excise tax of 15% on passenger rail travel survived until 1962.[24] Local governments, far from providing needed support to passenger rail, viewed rail infrastructure as a ready source for property tax revenues. Work rules did not adapt to technological change.[15] Average train speeds doubled from 1919 to 1959, but unions resisted efforts to modify their existing 100 to 150 mile work days.
The passenger rail industry wilted as government backed these potent upstarts with billions of dollars in construction of highways and government-owned airports and the air traffic control system.
Government actively began to respond with funds from its treasury and later with fuel tax funds to build a non-profit network of roads not subject to property taxation[27] that rivaled and then surpassed the for-profit network that the railroads had built in previous generations with corporate capital and government land grants. Proponents of the bill, led by the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP), sought government funding to assure the continuation of passenger trains.
The purchase price could be satisfied either by cash or rolling stock; in exchange, the railroads received NRPC common stock. The Nixon administration and many Washington insiders viewed the NRPC as a politically expedient way for the President and Congress to give passenger trains the one "last hurrah" demanded by the public. This limited passenger service continued until the company was sold to the Seaboard System in 1983. The Rock Island continued operating two truncated passenger trains (the Peoria Rocket and the Quad Cities Rocket) on short routes out of Chicago until 1978.
Continued losses convinced Southern Railway to relinquish remaining passenger operations to Amtrak in 1979. In operation until 1983, the Rio Grande Zephyr was the last privately operated long-distance passenger service in the United States.
The corporation was molded from the passenger rail operations of 20 out of 26 major railroads in operation at the time. On the day it started, Amtrak was given the responsibility of rerouting passenger trains from the seven train terminals in Chicago (LaSalle, Dearborn, Grand Central, Randolph, Chicago Northwestern Terminal, Central, and Union) into just one, Union Station.
The Northeast Corridor received an Inland Route via Springfield, Massachusetts, thanks to support from New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Following the bankruptcy of several northeastern railroads in the early 1970s, including Penn Central, which owned and operated the Northeast Corridor (NEC), Congress passed the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976.[30] A large part of the legislation was directed to the creation of Conrail, but the law also enabled the transfer of the portions of the NEC not already owned by state authorities, to Amtrak.
Outside factors discouraged competing transport, such as fuel shortages which increased costs of automobile and airline travel, and strikes which disrupted airline operations.
This rolling stock, which for the most part still bore the pre-Amtrak colors and logos, formed the multi-colored consists of early Amtrak trains.
By this time, however, Amtrak had a large overhang of debt from years of underfunding, and in the mid-1990s, Amtrak suffered through a serious cash crunch. He said that shedding the system's long distance routes would amount to selling national assets that are on par with national parks, and that Amtrak's abandonment of these routes would be irreversible. A commemorative book entitled Amtrak: An American Story was published, and a documentary was created. As of November 2011, Wi-Fi is being expanded to a variety of additional trains operating on the east coast.
Conversely, Amtrak also has benefited from the interest of highly motivated and politically oriented public servants.
I’m on board Acela Express train 2165, headed south through Connecticut on my way from Boston to New York.

No airport shuttle, no taxi, no airport rail link – just take my luggage and walk down the street from my hotel. That's why President Bush instead came up with his idea of Social Security savings accounts whereby workers themselves could decide how to invest a small part of their Social Security money in a stock portfolio. If Bush were to sign the bill, they say, he would be caught in a public relations situation where he would be perceived as favoring one standard for a certain sector of the workforce and another standard for everyone else. While much of the work will be done on weekends and during midday, MARC service will still be affected. Because the trackwork will be constantly moving from one site to another, the amount of delays will vary from day-to-day. Under the 1989 agreement, which expires June 30, 2003, Salt Lake City granted UP the right to cross city streets but the contract allows the city to revoke the right if any part of the line is not used for nine consecutive months.
The Union Pacific route follows a southern detour through Nebraska, and Burlington Northern Santa Fe trains end up in northern Minnesota before coming back to the south.
The members of its board of directors are appointed by the President of the United States and are subject to confirmation by the United States Senate. The Nixon administration secretly agreed with some railroads that Amtrak would be shut down after two years.
During the war, troop movements and restrictions on automobile fuel generated a sixfold increase in passenger traffic from the low point of the Depression.[10] After the war, railroads rejuvenated overworked and neglected fleets with fast and often luxurious streamliners—epitomized by the Super Chief and California Zephyr—which inspired the last major resurgence in passenger rail travel. Increases in train speeds, which had been occurring since the 1930s, were hampered after the Naperville train disaster of 1946 and other crashes in New York in 1950.
As a result, railroaders' work days were roughly cut in half, from 5–7? hours in 1919 down to 2?–3? hours in 1959.
Governmental entities built sprawling urban and suburban airports, funded construction of highways to provide access to the airports, and provided air traffic control services. By the 1960s, it was not uncommon for passenger trains to feature a dozen mail cars with only a few passenger cars.
The legendary Pullman Company became insolvent in 1969, followed, in 1970, by the dominant railroad in the Northeastern United States, the Penn Central.
They conceived the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (NRPC), a hybrid public-private entity that would receive taxpayer funding and assume operation of intercity passenger trains. They expected Amtrak to quietly disappear as public interest waned.[28] Proponents also hoped that government intervention would be brief, but their view was that Amtrak would soon support itself. Passenger service to Bethlehem and Pottsville was discontinued in 1981, while passenger service to New Jersey was cut back by roughly 50 miles (80 km) to terminate in West Trenton, NJ. Amtrak subsequently rerouted its modern version of the California Zephyr to follow DRG's scenic route between Denver and Salt Lake City.
All Amtrak's routes were continuations of prior service, although Amtrak pruned about half the passenger rail network. A 19-hour layover became necessary for eastbound travel on the James Whitcomb Riley between Chicago and Newport News.
In New York City, Amtrak had to pay to maintain Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal because of the lack of track connections to bring trains from upstate New York into Penn Station, a problem not rectified until the building of the Empire Connection in 1991. Amtrak acquired the majority of the NEC on April 1, 1976.[31] (The portion in Massachusetts is owned by the Commonwealth and managed by Amtrak. By mid-1971, Amtrak began purchasing some of the equipment it had leased, including 286 second-hand locomotives, of the EMD E and F types, 30 GG1 electric locomotives, and 1290 passenger cars, and continued leasing even more motive power.
To resolve the crisis, Congress issued funding but instituted a glide-path to financial self-sufficiency, excluding railroad retirement tax act payments.[37] Passengers became "guests" and there were expansions into express freight work, but the financial plans failed.
The board then appointed David Hughes, Amtrak's Chief Engineer, as interim CEO.[60] Given Gunn's solid performance, many Amtrak supporters feared that Gunn's departure was Amtrak's death knell, although those fears have not been realized.
During that period, probably leading up to January or February, when the first next budget is announced, there will be a major debate in this country, the very kind of debate long anticipated on this website.
Common stock was issued in 1971 to railroads that contributed capital and equipment; these shares convey almost no benefits[4] but their current holders[5] declined a 2002 buy-out offer by Amtrak. These were the first to be abandoned as the railroads' financial positions deteriorated, and the rails were routinely removed to save money on taxes.
It now seemed that passenger rail's financial problems might bring down the railroad industry as a whole, yet few in government wanted to be held responsible for the extinction of the passenger train.
The original working brand name for NRPC was Railpax, but shortly before the company started operating it was changed to Amtrak.
In return, they received approval to discontinue their passenger services, and at least some acquired common stock in Amtrak. In many cases Amtrak had to abandon service into the huge old Union Stations such as Cincinnati, Saint Paul, Buffalo, Kansas City, Houston, and Saint Louis, and route trains into smaller Amtrak-built facilities down the line, jokingly referred to over the years as "Amshacks" due to their basic design. The route from New Haven to New Rochelle is owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Connecticut Department of Transportation as the New Haven Line.) This main line became Amtrak's "jewel" asset, and helped the railroad generate significant revenues. Amtrak's inroads in express freight delivery created additional friction with competing freight operators, including the trucking industry. The exhibit train is an entirely rebuilt train powered by GE Genesis locomotives and includes three refurbished baggage cars and a food service car. Determination of congressional funding and selection of Amtrak's leadership have been infused with political considerations.
Years earlier (between 1991 and 1994), Gunn's refusal to "do politics" put him at odds with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority board of directors, which included representatives from the District of Columbia and suburban jurisdictions in Maryland and Virginia.
On August 29, 2006 Alexander Kummant was named as Gunn's permanent replacement effective September 12, 2006.[62] Kummant resigned on November 14, 2008. But rather than sitting comfortably in one place, working, I’d spend much of the plan trip waiting in lines, waiting at the gate, sitting in an airport shuttle, and waiting until we reach cruising attitude. Menk, chairman of the Burlington Northern Railroad remarked that the story was undermining the scheme to dismantle Amtrak.[9] Though for its entire existence the company has been subjected to political cross-winds and insufficient capital resources, including owned railway, Amtrak's ridership has maintained consistent growth. Many rights of way were destroyed by being broken up and built over, but others remained the property of the railroad or were taken over by local or state authorities and turned into rail trails, which could be returned to rail service if necessary.
In 1958, the ICC was granted authority to allow or reject modifications and eliminations of passenger routes (train-offs).[23] Many routes required beneficial pruning, but the ICC delayed action by an average of eight months and when it did authorize modifications, the ICC insisted that unsuccessful routes be merged with profitable ones. Popular support has allowed Amtrak to continue in operation longer than critics imagined, while financial results have made a return to private operation unfeasible. On trains that continued, to the extent possible, schedules were retained with only minor changes from the Official Guide of the Railways. Amtrak has pushed to start reusing some of the old stations, most recently Cincinnati Union Terminal, and Kansas City Union Station. While the NEC ridership and revenues were higher than any other segment of the system, the cost of operating and maintaining the corridor proved to be overwhelming. Delivery was delayed of much anticipated high-speed trainsets for the improved Acela Express service, which promised to be a strong source of income and favorable publicity along the NEC between Boston and Washington, D.C. Gunn was an accomplished public servant and railroad person and his successes before Amtrak earned him a great deal of credibility, despite a sometimes-rough relationship with politicians and labor unions.
The board appointed Amtrak COO William Crosbie as interim CEO.[70] On November 26, 2008, the board appointed Federal Railroad Administration chairman Joseph H.
I might arrive at the same time – but I’d have gotten less done, and I’d be much less relaxed.
Thus, fast, popular rail service was transformed into slow, unpopular service.[15] The ICC was even more critical of corporate mergers. Postal Service switched to trucks and airplanes, depriving many passenger trains of a major source of revenue.
Railroads that shed passenger operations were expected to host Amtrak trains on their tracks, for a fee.
Graham Claytor earned distinction as a lawyer (he was president of the Harvard Law Review and law clerk to U.S. Warrington ran into trouble with Congress and the Administration through lavish spending and extensive borrowing. Those perceptions are as real – perhaps more real – than the numbers the computer spits out.
Many combinations which railroads sought to complete were delayed for years and even decades, such as the merger of the New York Central Railroad and Pennsylvania Railroad, into what eventually became Penn Central, and the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad and Erie Railroad into the Erie Lackawanna Railway. That route was inaugurated September 29, 1972, along Boston and Maine Railroad and Canadian National Railway track that had last seen passenger service in 1966. In subsequent years, other short route segments not needed for freight operations were transferred to Amtrak.
When he attempted to mortgage Penn Station in New York City he ran into a fire storm of opposition in Congress.
By the time the ICC approved the mergers in the 1960s, disinvestments by the federal government, years of deteriorating equipment and station facilities and the flight of passengers to the air and car had taken their toll and the mergers were unsuccessful.
Amtrak was also instrumental in restoring service in the Empire Corridor of upstate New York, between Albany and Niagara Falls, with its Empire Service, a service that was discontinued in the sixties by the New York Central and Penn Central. Nevertheless, in general, Amtrak remained dependent on freight railroads for access to most of its routes outside of the northeast. Claytor came out of retirement to lead Amtrak after the disastrous financial results during the Carter administration (1977–1981).[67] He was recruited by then Secretary of Transportation, Drew Lewis, and Federal Railroad Administrator Robert Blanchette, both Reagan appointees.
Despite the fact that Claytor frequently opposed the Reagan Administration over Amtrak funding issues, he was strongly supported by John H. The 1988 Democratic Presidential nominee Michael Dukakis served as Amtrak's vice chairman of the board and was nominated as a director by President Bill Clinton in 1998. Riley, an attorney who was the highly skilled head of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) under the Reagan Administration from 1983–1989.
Claytor, the longest serving Amtrak CEO, at 12 years, clearly enjoyed a good relationship with Congress and was perceived by many in the rail industry and government to have done an outstanding job of running Amtrak.
Due to limited federal funding, Claytor was forced to use short-term debt to keep most of its operations running.[68] Also, during the Reagan Administration, Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole tacitly supported Amtrak. It was eerily quiet; quieter maybe than even the Acela Express train, which is a newer design.
These old Amfleet I cars were designed and built in the 1970's, though they've been extensively refurbished and upgraded. The interiors are now pretty darn nice, the ride is very smooth, and the noise level reminded me of having a private room on one of the old streamliner cars that no longer exist (this was an almost mystical travel experience that I'm still sad is gone).It's not really obvious from that second shot how much legroom there is.

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