Boardman spoke with the Los Angeles Times about Amtrak's problems and where the system is headed. He also discusses the importance of expensive but well-used long-distance routes.
"These trains, which include storied names such as the Coast Starlight (Los Angeles to Seattle), Southwest Chief (Los Angeles to Chicago) and the Empire Builder (Portland/Seattle to Chicago), devour about 80% of Amtrak's federal subsidies, Boardman said. But that doesn't dim the chief's enthusiasm for his company's long-haul network.
'It is a lifeline for many rural customers in this country,' said Boardman, who grew up on a dairy farm in upstate New York. 'To make rail work, you need to have rail across the country.'"