Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Amtrak

I have said before, I wish that the US had a train system like France. Sure, this would probably only be viable on the coasts, ie Washington-NYC-Boston Corridor and the San Diego-LA-San Francisco Corridor, but a high-speed TGV train would be a welcome addition to the traffic in these regions.

Amtrak, as a government run monopoly, is never going to make a profit, but I think the external benefits from high-speed train travel outweigh the losses. The issue I have is with the political demands for service in areas that are simply to remote and sparsely populated to justify the trains, ie most of the middle of the country except for maybe Chicago and cities in Texas.

However, the primary benefit of taking the train, less security hassles, looks to be going away.

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