And They Keep Getting Away with It!
Most of us know that Amtrak’s long-distance trains often run late . . . frequently very late. And most of us also know that more often than not those who should get the blame for all those late trains are the freight railroads, who habitually refuse to give Amtrak long-distance trains preference on track the freight railroads own. I’ve known that for a long time, but had no idea just how bad the situation has become.
How’s this for an eye-popper: Last year alone, freight train interference was the official reason why Amtrak long-distance trains were recorded as being late by a total of (believe it or not) . . .
Nine Hundred Thousand Minutes!
Let’s have some fun and put that number into more recognizable formats.
Those 900,000 minutes represent wasted time equal to 15,000 hours or 625 days or 89 weeks or 21 months . . . all lost to the economy because of late Amtrak trains.
Now, just for fun, let’s put that information into somewhat different forms in order to give a more recognizable picture of how all those wasted minutes might impact the life of a typical working person.
900,000 minutes = 15,000 hours
1875 eight-hour work days
375 forty-hour work weeks
7 and a half years on the job
(assuming an annual 2-week vacation)
And just to boggle the mind a bit more, let’s remember that every Amtrak long-distance train has a 30-minute grace period before it’s officially considered to be late and, as far as I know, all of those minutes were not included in the 900,000-minute total.
Now . . . don’t you think it’s long past time for Congress to insist that the freight railroads obey the law they have been ignoring for 50 years and start giving “preference” to Amtrak long-distance trains?