Northeast Corridor Privatization Plan is Short-Sighted - We Should Invest in Amtrak
6/10/2011 Fri. June 10, 2011
Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) wrote an opinion piece that supports the Amtrak High Speed Rail system and rejects the northeast corridor privatization efforts currently being undertaken by House Republicans.
In his article he writes, “Under the false promise of better service and cost savings, Republicans on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will soon unveil a partisan plan to dismantle Amtrak and auction off its assets to the highest bidder. Doubling down on this risky bet, they want to hand over the conductor’s cap to the same folks who ran the stock market off a cliff.”
“Privatizing passenger rail in the Northeast Corridor will not merely affect train service in that region; it will have a crippling domino effect on train service from sea to shining sea. Because of its national scope, Amtrak is able to invest profits from the Northeast Corridor to offset less profitable long-distance lines in other parts of the country. “
“We ought to be looking at ways to help Amtrak achieve the goal of high-speed rail; not looking at ways to dismantle it. We should be celebrating Amtrak’s 40th birthday; not writing it off as being “over the hill” and suggesting it retire. We should be united in cheering on its success; not trying to kick it in the caboose by selling off its assets to private companies.”
“Congressman Rahall is correct,” said TCU President Bob Scardelletti. “The only way to get a world class high speed rail system in the United States is to provide Amtrak with a long-term dedicated funding source. The investment has always been there, and still is, but congress has yet to give Amtrak the chance.”