In response to:

Why Freight Rail Pays and Passenger Trains Flunk

alphathought Wrote: Apr 01, 2013 4:22 PM
"Yet liberals in the area couldn't understand why it was a bad idea. After all, as one local city government official said, to reject it was to reject "free money". You put your finger right on the problem. Near here we had a couple hundred thousand dollar bridge project that served two families. The County Commissioner justified it by saying if we didn't take the money someone else would. True, but how sad is that?
Forty years ago, American railroads were in trouble. The Penn Central, the largest railroad, had recently gone bankrupt.

American freight rail was technologically obsolescent and hamstrung by union rules and government rate regulation. American passenger rail was unprofitable and unreliable.

Freight rail was losing business to trucking firms. Passenger rail was losing out to cars on the new interstate highways and airplanes on long routes.

The past 40 years have seen a laboratory experiment on how to revive railroads. Government has gotten out of freight rail, while passenger rail has become largely a public sector function.

We've had a chance to...