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Discussion: (7 comments)

  1. Considering the, automobile, tire and oil industries did their best to sabotage private rail transportation in the 1930’s-40’s-50’s and largely succeeded, points to the fact that the “invisible hand” does not always give us the best long run solutions when such large infrastructure is needed. I’d be interested in hearing your long run solutions on rail transport in this country instead of just running down Amtrak.

    1. “points to the fact that the “invisible hand” does not always give us the best long run solutions when such large infrastructure is needed.”

      It points to the fact that the market gives the people what they want, not stinky gross mass transit liberals want to impose on them.

    2. Jon Murphy

      I’d be interested in hearing your long run solutions on rail transport in this country…

      That makes the assumption that rail will be needed in the long-run.

  2. Peter Metrinko

    Fine article, except it should read $362 million, not billion.

    Rail is highly profitable for freight. The density of population for rail required to enable a profit exists in only a handful of places in the world.

  3. Jay Weiser

    And for still more on subsidized trains, see my AEIdeas blog post last year, The High Cost of Gravy Trains, http://www.aei-ideas.org/2011/02/the-high-cost-of-gravy-trains/.

  4. Jon Murphy

    I love Amtrak. Traveling by train is the way to go, in my opinion. You get to relax and see the country. No need to worry about traffic jams, crazy drivers, creepy TSA agents, and all that.

    I just don’t see why it needs to be subsidized.

    I am not knocking Amtrak. In my experience, their staff does a great job. The food is very good, the porters are helpful, and the cars are comfy (I’ve only ever traveled in first class, so I cannot speak to coach). I absolutely love it. But I just don’t see why the taxpayers need to fund my railroad baron fantasies.

  5. Paul Schmidt

    Recently, I’ve started wondering about how passenger train design has stagnated. With all the new technology developed in the past 30 years, why does it still take $850,000,000 to create a 44 mile Provo-SLC Commuter Rail line which runs right next to an existing freight rail line? Either government regulations or a serious lack of competition is preventing engineering innovation.

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