American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: gprimr1, mtuandrew

Post Reply
Cameron Wolk
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:46 pm

American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by Cameron Wolk » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:21 pm

Hello railroad.net members,
my name is Cameron Wolk and I am a national representative of the American Solidarity Party, a third party based on Christian Democratic values. It has come to our party's attention that in a series of recent events Amtrak is planning to curtail certain aspects of their operations including long distance routes, dining cars, public excursions and private car services. I cannot stress enough how important passenger rail service is to the future of this country as both an affordable and efficient way of travel. We plan on introducing legislation to Congress beneficial to the expansion of such public transportation systems however we would like to ask of your guidance and expertise as railroaders to help us solve this serious conflict at hand. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and advice regardless of the current circumstances.

Sincerely,

Cameron Wolk
ASP NY State Secretary
(516) 350-2166
camwolk@gmail.com

https://solidarity-party.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

mtuandrew
Posts: 5664
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:59 am
Location: the Manassas Gap Independent Line

Re: American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by mtuandrew » Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:00 pm

Moderator's Note: Feel free to go ahead with discussion about train service specifically, not the rest of the ASP platform. Please contact Mr. Wolk directly if you have wider questions about the organization.

User avatar
Tadman
Posts: 9308
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:21 am

Re: American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by Tadman » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:56 pm

Cameron Wolk wrote: It has come to our party's attention that in a series of recent events Amtrak is planning to curtail certain aspects of their operations including long distance routes, dining cars, public excursions and private car services.

I cannot stress enough how important passenger rail service is to the future of this country as both an affordable and efficient way of travel.
On the face of it, this sounds good, but it's a bit like saying "sandwiches are important to the future of hunger". Okay.... 6" or 12"? Barbecue, sprouts, hoagie, submarine...? You have a big category here.

With regard to passenger trains, yes, they are important and more so by each day. That said, some facets of the current operations are not critical to supporting travel and commerce. This includes diner cars, long distance trains, excursions, and private cars. The long distance train is less than 1% of intercity travel. Clearly it's not a critical part. Private cars and excursions are incidental even to the operation of long distance trains.

Eileensmith
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:55 am
Location: UK

Re: American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by Eileensmith » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:12 am

It's crucial to keep the current long-distance routes operating and any political group that recognises this deserves support. Climate change may mean that the future requires much more rail travel but once the rights for Amtrak to use a freight railroad track is lost it might not be possible to get it back except at prohibitive cost.
'Nothing beats flying across the country on a train.' - Homer Simpson.
www.usa-by-rail.com

mtuandrew
Posts: 5664
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:59 am
Location: the Manassas Gap Independent Line

Re: American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by mtuandrew » Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:22 am

Eileensmith wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:12 am
It's crucial to keep the current long-distance routes operating and any political group that recognises this deserves support. Climate change may mean that the future requires much more rail travel but once the rights for Amtrak to use a freight railroad track is lost it might not be possible to get it back except at prohibitive cost.
Welcome, Ms. Smith!

I note that you’re located in the UK, and am wondering if you have experience with the transportation plans of Christian Democratic parties similar to ASP.

Eileensmith
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:55 am
Location: UK

Re: American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by Eileensmith » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:27 am

Thanks!

The UK doesn't really have an equivalent to the Christian Democrats. Transport policy is something of a political football between the major parties so that a coherent long term plan is unfortunately non-existent. British Rail, created in the 1940s, was a comprehensive, much-maligned nationalised system, drastically reduced in the 1960s and starved of resources. Train operating services were franchised out to private companies, resulting in chaotic timetables and rocketing ticket prices. The Labour party, if elected, has plans to renationalise, reinvest and expand the UK's railways - an overwhemingly popular policy according to public opinion polls.
'Nothing beats flying across the country on a train.' - Homer Simpson.
www.usa-by-rail.com

ConstanceR46
Posts: 374
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:57 pm

Re: American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by ConstanceR46 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:23 pm

The central failure of amtrak is tied to privatized freight rail which isn't punished one bit for slowing down passenger trains; the downsizing of Amtrak and any lapses in service that result from it are just offshoots of this.

The ASP, from my understanding and at the risk of being "too political", is a Free Market Anti-Regulation party - the exact sort of party that wouldn't want to put penalties on delaying amtrak and reducing frequencies. At the risk of sounding like a Dirty Gommie, i maintain that the only way Amtrak's services can truly be fixed is seizing the Big 4.

mtuandrew
Posts: 5664
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:59 am
Location: the Manassas Gap Independent Line

Re: American Solidarity Party and Rail Legislation

Post by mtuandrew » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:52 pm

That’s a hard sell, Constance. Leasing a second, third, and/or fourth track from said Class 1 companies, or purchase/trackage rights, is a lot more palatable option in this governmental system that has aspects ranging from communism to fascism to libertarianism under the same roof.

That said, the other opportunity for America to nationalize passenger lines is by allowing a regulated monopoly by freight lines. It’s not something I prefer, but that kind of deal with the devil has public benefits. As an example, I truly hope the state of Illinois and Amtrak are ready to step up and insist that UP sell them the ex-Alton Railroad should a last round of Class 1 mega-mergers ever come to pass. Same for at the CP ex-Milwaukee Road between Chicago and Milwaukee, and some sort of lease or joint ownership from there to St. Paul.

Post Reply

Return to “General Discussion - Passenger Rail”