Railroad & Accessory Guide

      for Designers & Modelers

Amtrak's Future High Speed Rail System is almost here


Amtrak's Future High Speed Rail System is almost here



High Speed Rail in the USA

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Amtrak History and Ridership Cost

Amtrak is a passenger rail service that was born from the defunct and usually bankrupt rail lines of what are now either 'tourist' rail lines, or commercial freight rail lines. Amtrak is owned by the USA taxpayers and has come under criticism by opponents of HSR as a waste of taxpayer dollars. The cost of operating the system is borne by the passengers, the limited mail and other freight, the snack bar, bar, and restaurant services that are on board. There are also travel guides and many 'interagency' and 'commercial' tie in agreements that produce some operating cash. But, that said the system does generally operate in the 'red' with only the Northeastern USA corridor making reasonable profits.

So, why cannot the remainder of the system make profit, the answer is that it is too slow for many and therefore, has limited rider ship. These 'slow' lines and thousands of '5-MPH' type town road crossings, delays waiting for the commercial trains to open up track, and such put Amtrak into a situation where auto or aircraft are just faster from point a to point b. The HSR system is being designed to eliminate these bottlenecks, and in fact many are being eliminated like the one near the Washington State / Oregon border.. The National Gateway Project being pushed by President Obama is eliminating throughout the eastern USA the low overpasses, the too small tunnels, and the bottlenecks that prevent double-deck rail cars to operate.


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