Sunday, April 17, 2005

Would Privitizing the Rail System Work?

Amtrak is having trouble keeping the busy Boston to DC rail corridor open and on time, even with fancy new trains and having finished the infrastructure to support the Acela (which runs right through the wonderful little town where I was raised).

I have oft thought it would be wonderful to have a larger and more extensive rail system that negated the need to own a vehicle, sort of like Europe. The trains there may be off schedule a lot, but you can get to many places with out so much as a comfy pair of walking shoes. Even so, the size of the US may be prohibitive, but certainly you should be able to travel the coasts without having to get on a bus to link - but alas, on the West Coast, you can't. Travel by train is, at least for me, a romantic way to go. The last thing I want to do is interrupt an adventure by getting forced to use some bus that smells like a public toilet because they never open the windows and always use re-circulated air.

Is it time to end the public subsidy of the Amtrak Rail system in favor of privatizing the system and allowing the competitive forces of capitalism work that hopefully would improve it? Or, would it prove to be a failed experiment like the deregulation of the energy markets?

P.S. This is totally aside, but since I mentioned the energy markets, does anyone know what the heck is happening to Kenny boy Lay, by the way? Does he still have his hand deeply entrenched in W's pants pockets?

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