by Gilbert B Norman
Suffice to say, "the faithful" over at another site at which I learned of this article are "not exactly happy":
Long-distance intercity passenger rail should not exist in this country.My take: this article concisely sets forth as to how over the past fifty years the US rail system has, by "rationalizing" plant and adopting new operational strategies such as Precision Railroading (that is the term with which Saint Elwood christened his plans, as distinct from the shortened PSR) to further the efficient movement of freight traffic, adversely affected what limited passenger trains move over these lines. Such is simply recognition that the Class I roads are no longer in the passenger train business, and what business is proffered to them resulting from that "Faustian pact with the Devil" they entered into over fifty years ago, should and will be handled at the sufferance of their freight traffic.
First and foremost, this country is too big for passenger rail to be cost-effective in most places, except for connecting dense cities that are a relatively short distance apart. ... In the U.S., Amtrak travels on tracks that primarily transport freight. Passenger rail enthusiasts often complain that freight trains “get in the way” of passenger trains, and that it slows Amtrak service, but the reality is that Amtrak trains receive priority over freight trains and travel much faster than freight trains. As a result, passenger trains cause a traffic-management nightmare for dispatchers, who must weave them in and out of freight trains, which invariably entails freight trains needing to pull over into a siding to let an Amtrak train pass