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Passenger Trains > Interesting Daily Press OPINION Piece on AMTRAK (9/17/0


Date: 09/17/06 12:02
Interesting Daily Press OPINION Piece on AMTRAK (9/17/0
Author: rbx551985

FREEDOM ISN'T FREE, so reads a bumper sticker, seen on many cars after 9/11/01. Regarding AMTRAK FUNDING ISSUE -- and of the state of Virginia's service in particular, a new Opinion Piece in the Newport News VA 'Daily Press' newspaper of Sept. 17, 2006 seems to be one of the few that actually suggests a potential -- if often debated -- remedy. That is the item of interest here: that it goes beyond simply stating that the problem exists.

The interesting thoughts presented in this piece: think of the bumper sticker that reads "FREEDOM ISN'T FREE" -- and you'll already know what this writer states. Freedom to travel when/where we choose? Not really: who 'pays' for highway construction & maintenance, and airport construction & maintenance? WE DO. So, what next for AMTRAK? That's the opinion on where we might go, if we so choose. Read on:

http://www.dailypress.com/news/opinion/outlook/dp-18573sy0sep17,0,2247899.story?coll=dp-opinion-outlook



Date: 09/17/06 19:08
Re: Interesting Daily Press OPINION Piece on AMTRAK (9/
Author: NE933-II

Excellent piece, except it wouldn't fly because there's too much TRUTH in it. Today's generation of 20's somethings have become weaned on bullsheet in the form of political correctness. We want rose gardens on sculpted lawns without worrying about the chemicals used for them, so the rich and influential puts the chemical factory in the back yards of po' folks who don't have the resourses or might to protest it. And besides, never has been there been in this country such pressure to shut up about obvious illogical insanities and just deal with it. Maybe it's because our colleges and universities have been focusing so much on defining success as the ability to turn double digit profits for our corporate shareholders that they no longer care about actual intelligence. Have you heard the conversations of 18 - 29 year olds lately? I'll bet it goes something like this: "And I'm LIKE, where were you, and he's actually like, I was were you, like, told me, and I was like, no you absolutely were so, like, not...."

And so, my dear ladies and gents, Amtrak, like, is in a completely different world than the one it was created in, during the heyday of the early 80's' massive equipment infusion of new Amfleets, Superliners, F40s, and AEM7's. It needs to respond to this change and even start throwing some influence of its own to force awareness of train benefits through creative and effective campaigning.



Date: 09/18/06 04:08
Re: Interesting Daily Press OPINION Piece on AMTRAK (9/
Author: drew1946

Given the fact the Amtrak was created with the intention that it would fail, I guess the fact that it is still around says something in itself.



Date: 09/18/06 07:19
Re: Interesting Daily Press OPINION Piece on AMTRAK (9/
Author: tburzio

> that it is still around says something in itself.

Inertia is a basic physical law.

News folk think wars and sacrifice are just ploys to get votes, so it's easy for them to compare serious issues with something unimportant like Amtrak funding.

TB



Date: 09/18/06 09:18
Re: Interesting Daily Press OPINION Piece on AMTRAK (9/
Author: MThopper

I've never bought into the notion that Amtrak was created to fail. It was created to relieve the railroads of the passenger burden and beyond that, I don't think anyone had thought it through, one way or the other.



Date: 09/18/06 11:48
Re: Interesting Daily Press OPINION Piece on AMTRAK (9/
Author: J.Ferris

MThopper Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I've never bought into the notion that Amtrak was
> created to fail. It was created to relieve the
> railroads of the passenger burden and beyond that,
> I don't think anyone had thought it through, one
> way or the other.

MT,

You are partially correct.

It was somewhat thought at the time that, "if we relieve the carriers of all the short haul and applicative services the rest will be fine and break even".

As it turned out. The added publicity as well as oil embargoes etc. made Amtrak far more "successful" than anticipated. So much so that the initial 1200 to 1300 cars that were thought to be all the company would ever need. Was found to be woefully inadequate and Amtrak bought another 500 to 700 cars from the freight carriers.

The opposing view was that, "it would never even break even and that in five to seven years Amtrak would be gone", never to get in the way of the freight carriers again.

As has been noted before, these things have a way of taking on lives of their own. And Amtrak has done just that.

J.



Date: 09/18/06 12:12
Re: Interesting Daily Press OPINION Piece on AMTRAK (9/
Author: palumbo27

>>Have you heard the conversations of 18 - 29 year olds lately? I'll bet it goes something like this: "And I'm LIKE, where were you, >>and he's actually like, I was were you, like, told me, and I was like, no you absolutely were so, like, not...."

This will be slightly off topic...

This generalization is a good one...I am 27 years old and, unfortunately, have to deal with this problem..The reaction I get when I tell people that I ride Amtrak is even better.."You do what?? That's stupid, you can fly and get there so much quicker"...This statement could be a bit misleading with all the security BS now. Ok so the last Amtrak train I took was 6hrs late..I had no where to be in a hurry anyway...I personally enjoy flying, my inner ear does not. But after enjoying the relative luxury of train travel, it beats the heck out of flying...Yep, we have been spoon fed so much BS...Maybe I see it differently because I did not go to college (though I make more money than any of my friends who did go to college, and am generally happier because I don't have a boss)..

But were not all like that...Lumping us all into a bunch of people who say "like" too much isn't entirely fair...



Date: 09/18/06 13:26
Re: Interesting Daily Press OPINION Piece on AMTRAK (9/
Author: ProAmtrak

Palumbo good point man, and besides, that's the thing about people who perfere flying, they want to get from point a-Point B ASAP, with the secuirty, that makes it not even valid anymore! And the thing I hate hearing is, "You can't have a good job unless you go to college" which is bull crap! Glad you're one guy who's proving that so called fact wrong!



Date: 09/18/06 13:49
Re: Interesting Daily Press OPINION Piece on AMTRAK (9/
Author: ChS7-321

> And the thing I hate hearing is, "You can't have a
> good job unless you go to college" which is bull
> crap! Glad you're one guy who's proving that so
> called fact wrong!


Nobody proved anything wrong so far. On the overall, people who went to college earn much higher incomes than people who did not. If some people, such as Palumbo, managed to become successful without going to college, then more power to them. However, I would argue that if he did go to college, then he would have had an easier time of getting to where he is now.

Don't blow your college fund just yet, ProAmtrak.... ;))



Date: 09/18/06 18:35
Re: Interesting Daily Press OPINION Piece on AMTRAK (9/
Author: ProAmtrak

CHS, I'm sorry, but if I did get hired with Santa Fe back in 93, I wouldn't of went to college in the 1St place, besides, there are good jobs you can get with just a high school diploma anyway, and besides, that's the thing you need more than anything else!



Date: 09/18/06 21:33
Re: Interesting Daily Press OPINION Piece on AMTRAK (9/
Author: NE933-II

palumbo27 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> But were not all like that...Lumping us all into a
> bunch of people who say "like" too much isn't
> entirely fair...

Yes, i stand corrected on that one. Back on to trains, I get the same "What the hell are you taking Amtrak for?", always did.



Date: 09/18/06 22:01
Re: Interesting Daily Press OPINION Piece on AMTRAK (9/
Author: NE933-II

ChS7-321 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nobody proved anything wrong so far. On the
> overall, people who went to college earn much
> higher incomes than people who did not. If some
> people, such as Palumbo, managed to become
> successful without going to college, then more
> power to them. However, I would argue that if he
> did go to college, then he would have had an
> easier time of getting to where he is now.
>
> Don't blow your college fund just yet,
> ProAmtrak.... ;))

ProAmtrak, you and I go back awhile on TrainOrders. And Palumbo, you're 27, I just turned 40. Intelligence, compassion, and leadership ability is not dependent on age, but on characted. Each of these three things are in my opinion what makes a great leader, or, a great citizen. There's nothing wrong with being a follower, but many colleges will have us believe otherwise. I don't mean to say all are narrowminded corporate clone makers, where all of the graduates eventually wear white shirts, ties, and pinstripe suits. I agree with Chs7 that college has it's role, but choose wisely if you decide to go for it. Yesterday I was feeling reealyy cynical when I wrote the comments that Polumbo objected to. But look at it this way. Enough idiots argue that a 7 hour drive in traffic congestion ranks more than a much more comfortable ramble on an Amtrak. Ditto for air travel with it's post 9/11 searches and delays and pat downs. Speaking of which, many college students have forgotten the year the attacks occurred. This is what our society has produced. Amtrak is a sort of pH reading for the greater land. Amtrak is in trouble because our country is. Terrorists have made their mark hear because the checks and balances we pay for to keep us safe was sleeping, riding horses in Texas for weeks at a time, all the while warnings on paper, internet chatter, and direct threats from Mr. Osama himself : "The U.S. is in for a big surprise". How quickly our government forgot that Amtrak provided the only mobility on a mass scale after that Tuesday, and if it were'nt there, how much worse the tradjedy would be on our economy as well as recovery and personal freedoms.



Date: 09/19/06 06:48
Re: Interesting Daily Press OPINION Piece on AMTRAK (9/
Author: palumbo27

NE933, the point that I objected too was actually a valid point..Some of my peers don't even know when the 2nd world war happened. My cousin who recently graduated high school did not know who Hitler was..Her answer was "I don't know, some bad man"...

Back to trains..

I really hope Amtrak can pull out of this hole. From things I hear, Amtrak is pulling back on services aboard the train. I think this will further serve to kill them. I ride Amtrak becuase I like having full service meals on board..Its great to stretch out in a lounge car. Again, when you don't have to be somewhere in a hurry, the train is THE way to go...But..Everyone has to be somewhere yesterday.



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