Future of Rail Service in America

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photoAmtrak faces a rough ride on the rails. The Bush administration wants to end its more than $1 billion annual subsidy. Its 20 Acela high-speed trains which operate along the Northeast corridor have been placed out of service until this summer.

Amtrak still struggles with rundown trains, rickety tracks, and constant delays. It does not cover its operating costs, and it has had no money to upgrade its trains or fix major problems with its rails.

A massive reorganization President Bush-style would likely mean an end to passenger rail service in many parts of the country, especially in America's heartland. The other option, which is less likely, is that Congress springs for much larger subsidies to put new life into our rail system.

Hear about Amtrak and the future of passenger rail service in America.


Michael Dresser, transportation reporter for The Baltimore Sun;
Elliot Sclar, professor of urban planning and public affairs at Columbia University and co-author OF "You Don't Always Get What You Pay For: The Economics of Privatization";

Thomas Till, former executive director of the Amtrak Reform Council;

Frank Wilner, former chief of staff at the Surface Transporation Board under President Clinton, author of "The Amtrak Story"

This program aired on April 22, 2005.


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