Operation Amtrak

Eli is, of course, correct. Amtrak is in no state to be privatized yet, and the botched BR privatization demonstrated that privatizing a railroad with deteriorated assets is asking for trouble. The infrastructure needs considerable investment to make up for the degradation it has suffered during the years of public ownership. The catch-22, of course, is that it is Amtrak managers who presided over the collapse of the infrastructure while ordering shiny new trains (a common problem in public railroads around the world; London Underground once ordered a new fleet of fabulous-looking trains that suffered from just one problem – they couldn’t fit in the tunnels). The obvious solution, of creating an infrastructure body separate from Amtrak, suffers all the separation problems I talked about in my paper. The circle needs squaring, however, if the US wants to have a viable passenger train network on at least some routes.