Only Limit to Amtrak’s Potential: Misguided and Ignorant Politicians.
One of the NARP members who serves on our elected Council of Representatives has a remarkable gift. (NARP, as I hope you will remember, is the National Association of Railroad Passengers.) Anyway, he can look at a bunch of numbers, absorb the intended data, then go an extra step, extracting additional and often significant information.
For instance, he recently compiled a list of all the railway stations across the country being served by one or more of Amtrak’s long-distance trains. Using that list, and superimposing in-depth data from population figures taken from the 2010 census, he came up with some startling numbers. Here’s his own summary of the results of his calculations and the exciting conclusion he draws from them:
“More than half of all Americans – roughly 173 million people – live within 25 miles of a railway station that is served by one of Amtrak’s long-distance trains. Almost all of these routes have just one train a day. Just imagine how much mobility we could bring to half the people in the country if we could add just one or two more trains a day to each of these routes.”
Then he did some additional number crunching – applying the same criteria to the entire Amtrak system. The result: Almost two-thirds of all Americans – 197 million people – live within 25 miles of a railway station served by an Amtrak train.
Think what a Congress truly interested in real mobility for all those millions of Americans could do by providing funds to build more locomotives, more coaches, more sleeping cars, more dining and café cars. And – oh, by the way – think of the many thousands of jobs that would be created in the process.
All of that won’t matter to the anti-everything bozos in the U.S. House, of course. But NARP will keep banging the drum and eventually the bozos will be found out … and voted out. The sooner the better.