Saturday, July 10, 2010

Will Amtrak survive when the federal government starts slashing budgets?

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Of all of our government’s inefficiencies, I have a soft spot in my heart for Amtrak; I dearly love to travel by rail. Someday our cross-country passenger rail system may disappear. Before that happens, take a ride on Amtrak if you ever have the opportunity. Rail travel offers some great adventures and the memories last a lifetime.

Syd Weedon has a post about the Iron Horse and includes some of his great photo-art.

On September 11, 2001, all of the air transportation in the USA came to an abrupt stop. For around one week nobody traveled anywhere in this country via air. The thousands upon thousands of stranded travelers were on their own to find a way to their destinations. Amtrak was a readymade answer for many travelers during this crisis, moving vast hordes across the nation, proving itself an integral part of our national security.

It seems there are relatively few politicians that feel Amtrak is worthy of continued subsidy from the federal government. Without subsidies, Amtrak would vanish, as would our interstate highway system and our airports. In the deep green sea of federal spending Amtrak is but a drop, but each new administration eventually views the death of Amtrak as a key part of their fiscal mission.

Passenger trains helped build this nation and IMHO passenger trains continue to help keep this nation strong. Face it, not everyone can fly or drive. A substantial number of Americans need Amtrak to get them to where they need to be. Let us hope there is never another national emergency like September 11, 2001. Let us hope Amtrak continues to exist to serve us all in case there is.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One thing you can do is join NARP, the National Association of Railroad Passengers. They have an office in Washington and lobby for more and continued support for Amtrak ... in fact, for all passenger rail service. You can join from their web site: www.narprail.org