“A NOSE UNDER THE TENT”–FRA SEEKS COMPETITIVE BIDS TO REPLACE THREE AMTRAK LONG DISTANCE ROUTES

ntbraymer

By M.E. Singer

For those of us who attained adulthood before the dawn of Amtrak, we were initially thrilled with high hopes the passenger train would be saved; acquire governmental investments (i.e., “subsides”) in equipment and infrastructure in common with other modes of transport; and actually expand to meet its potential. However, within a very short time span we were sadly awakened to a certain reality of lost faith. Just as General Westmoreland learned their was no “light at the end of the tunnel,” because their was no “tunnel” in Vietnam, so too have rail advocates and pundits approached any governmental action regarding Amtrak with suspicion.

Frankly, as it was written under the FAST Act, this FRA bid concept reads more like a manifesto embracing a “Gordian Knot” that portends the devolution of Amtrak.  Like peeling layers of the onion, this FRA program is aimed directly at the winnowing of long…

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