Bright Times Ahead for Amtrak

Amtrak Chief Joseph Boardman says now is a good time for the much-troubled national rail system. Support from the federal government is helping the system grow and improve, according to this interview.

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.'"

Full Story: Interview: Amtrak president touts record ridership, long-distance trains (Part 1)

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