Long-distance Amtrak trains, such as the Portland-Seattle-Chicago Empire Builder, have been big money losers and adding several baggage cars loaded with time-sensitive parcels could take these streamliners out of the red...Under Congress' current reauthorization bill for Amtrak, federal money for operations will cease at the end of 2002, leaving the public corporation to fend for itself. At the same time, the 11-member Amtrak Reform Council created in 1997 is monitoring the carrier's progress toward self-sufficiency and is making recommendations.
Should it appear that Amtrak will fail to break even by the end of 2002, the council is expected to recommend restructuring the country's rail passenger service. A local member of the council is Bruce Chapman, president of the Discovery Institute, a think tank that is looking at public and private ways to improve transportation linking British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. Read More ›