Improving Rail Passenger Service, One Step At A Time


By Noel T. Braymer

With the creation of Amtrak we saw a low point in rail passenger service in this Country. With Amtrak came the greatest loss of rail passenger service in a single day in American history. Amtrak was created in part to save the most critical services which had the best chance of surviving. To help the freight railroads many passenger routes lost service as part of the deal to get the cooperation of the railroads to allow Amtrak on their tracks. Since 1971 when Amtrak was formed it has often seemed there have been more setbacks than progress. But there have been successes, and the best ones start small. California is the model for this. There are now 12 round trips between San Diego and Los Angeles with 5 of those trains also going to Santa Barbara and 2 of those trains going to San Luis Obispo.

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