Derailed: What Went Wrong and What to Do About America's Passenger Trains
America needs train service. It suffers from crowded highways and airports, making travel nearly intolerable. Amtrak's future is bleak, and Congress is demanding that Amtrak be profitable by the turn of the century or shut down.
Joseph Vranich, who worked to create Amtrak, now nearly three decades later declares it a "failed experiment." Free of his ties to the rail industry today, he candidly reviews Amtrak's troubled history, its loss of market share, and its ability to provide better and faster service. Vranich reveals how Amtrak trains on most routes are not only slower than American trains were fifty years ago but are also slower than some trains found today in the Third World.
Vranich argues for passenger trains where and when they are needed. He praises innovative commuter rail agencies, high-speed train planners, and long-distance "land-cruise" trains run by independent organizations. He also offers insights from other countries, pointing the way to a successful rail system in the United States. This is a blueprint to defederalize and liquidate Amtrak-- a bold and convincing call to kill a wasteful government system. Vranich shows how to smartly dissolve Amtrak while keeping vital trains running in the twenty-first century.