Sunday, August 31, 2008


Now that we have vented about what - historically - has been done wrong. Let's take a breather and think about what might be done right.

Let's think about doubling. What part of Passenger Rail and Amtrak in particular should we fund to double the current status and how efficient would that be?

It is reported that Amtrak ridership is growing in spite of stagnent numbers of routes (with the exception of new, state funded routes) and stagnent amounts of passenger cars available to the fleet.

Doubling Route Miles

This would probably result in a better than doubling of passenger miles, but would require doubling or better the amount of equipment and the service facilities that go with more equipment. It would probably require more than doubling the payroll. Would it result in double the revenue? We doubt it.

Doubling Train Frequency

This would probably result in more passenger miles. It would not require twice the equipment and probably could be done without doubling employment in on-board crews. However, it would result in higher maintenance costs.

Doubling Track Speed
A necessity if train frequency is to be doubled. Better signalling would help with this, so this would probably require double the expenditures of host railroads on track and signals.

Doubling The Amount of Equipment
This would be a first step in doubling the availability of all passenger rail and must be done no matter what the cost.

Doubling The Size of Management
A real danger if we start pouring money into the system.

We start to see how interconnected is the network that we dismantled by nationalizing the Passenger Rail system. If Congress can come up with not double the money but enough money to double the system, it's really hard to say where it should go. It should not go into administration and/or management.

©2008 - C. A. Turek -
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