One thought on “More on David Gunn and Amtrak

  1. There is no question that David Gunn is a top notch rail executive. His work with Septa and specifically New York Transit is sufficient proof. I agree with a previous comment that an incompetent should have been hired to run Amtrak into the ground. How about the San Francisco “acts of god” twinky that preceeded Gunn in NY, although Brown is also a good choice.

    The unfortunate fact however is Amtrak, along with most of the railroad inductry is incompetent having been hobbled for years by regulation and abusive labor practices, much like the airline and trucking industries. It needs to die, as similarly situated incompetent airlines and trucking companies have died when subjected to competition.

    The difference being however that there are no competitors that can replace Amtrak without some form of privatization which is what the Administration seeks, albeit with formidable political opposition which makes it difficult to implement.

    The nostalgics romanticize about the pleasures of a leisurely train ride and for them excursion trips should be arranged. But not as basic transportation. Try going from Philadelphia to Minneapolis by train. You would have to be out of your mind or into pain. Three different trains with hours in between and 32 hours later for a trip that takes 3 hours by plane and 22 by car.

    If states, like NH don’t want to contribute to passenger rail operated through it by its neighbors the Feds have means to force it. Is there any state that has turned down an 80% Federal subsidy for highway construction and maintenance.

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