Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Time to Retire Amtrak?

Well, yes -- it's been time to retire it since it started.

If there's real economic demand for passenger rail, the market will respond to that demand. But "I want it and want to force everyone else to pay for it through government" is not economic demand. "I want it and am willing to pay for it myself" is economic demand.

But even setting aside that obvious and basic objection to Amtrak, it's also an increasingly literal train wreck safety-wise: "The rate of Amtrak accidents per million train miles traveled grew from 41.1 in 2008 to nearly 58.8 by November 2017, according to [the Federal Railroad Administration]." That's not counting last December's fatal derailment in Washington, the January 31 fatal garbage truck collision in Virginia, the February 4 fatal freight train collision in South Carolina, or yesterday's 125 mph decoupling in Maryland.

Also, Amtrak's personnel seem to be unwilling or unable to keep gangland riff-raff from hassling and threatening customers at their stations and on their trains.

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