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Re: Trump's budget slashes Amtrak funding, phases out long-distance routes

Posted by Osmosis Jones on Tue Feb 18 03:33:18 2020, in response to Re: Trump's budget slashes Amtrak funding, phases out long-distance routes, posted by JayZeeBMT on Sun Feb 16 20:28:36 2020.

One big reason the NEC does so well (besides the BosWash megalopolis itself) is that every mile of track on it, including the three branches, is owned by a government entity. The NEC, depending on where you are on it, belongs either to Amtrak, Metro-North, or the US Department of Transportation. Then there are usage fees Amtrak gets from the various commuter agencies running on its tracks (SEPTA, NJT, MARC, MBTA, MTA, CT Rail, SLE, VRE) plus the usual federal subsidy.

According to Amtrak's own report and a few sources I found, Amtrak's Northeast Corridor service makes a profit off of operating revenue alone, unless these sources aren't taking infrastructure costs into play.

To see why Amtrak's losses mount, hop on the Empire Builder train

How Amtrak Makes Money

Amtrak says growing demand makes case for US rail funding

monthly performance report march fy 2018 - Amtrak

The other part of the equation is its high demand. If the "feds were to fall on their heads one day and decided to stop subsidizing it", it wouldn't be long before the catenary went cold, and everything stopped running. That would be a serious economic problem for 30+ million people that would be felt right away.

Only a catastrophic terrorist or natural event would ever stop the Northeast Corridor from running. A private company like Brightliner would probably take over its operation before a lack of governmental funding would shut it down. It's a well-utilized and profitable rail line that is a too big of a key player in not only that region's, but the nation's economic health.


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