Amtrak: The History and Politics of a National Railroad

By David C. Nice | Go to book overview

ridership. 19 A leadership team committed to attracting passengers has demonstrated that it can be done.

In sum, Amtrak's financial performance shows signs of significant improvement. Further improvements are still needed. On the revenue side, expanding passenger volume can help to increase revenues, a point that will be explored more closely in a later chapter. In addition, the revenue potential of nonpassenger operations deserves additional effort. Funds received from mail and express service, from contract work (including assembly and rebuilding work for other railroads), and from real estate transactions are likely to continue to be important for the foreseeable future; a financially hard-pressed organization must seek revenues wherever they can be found. At the same time, continuing efforts to control costs are essential. Productivity improvements are important in all public organizations, and Amtrak is no exception.


Notes
1.
For discussions of the virtues of stability and change, see Ira Sharkansky, The Routines of Politics ( New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1970); Everett Rogers , Diffusion of Innovations, 3rd ed. ( New York: Free Press, 1983).
2.
See Rodger Bradley, Amtrak ( Poole, United Kingdom: Blandford, 1985), 126-127, 135; Karl Zimmerman, Amtrak at Milepost 10 (Park Forest, IL: PTJ Publishing, 1981), 74.
3.
David Nice, "Changing Program Performance: The Case of Amtrak", Transportation Journal 2 ( 1987): 44-45. For an overview of route changes, see Mike Schafer, "Amtrak's Atlas", Trains 51 ( June 1991): 49-53.
4.
Bradley, 73-75; Frederick Stephenson, Transportation USA (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1987), 173-175; Frank Wilner, The Amtrak Story ( Omaha: Simmons-Boardman, 1994), chapter 4.
5.
Tom Nelligan, "The Viewliner Venture", Passenger Train Journal 19 ( March 1988): 16-22.
6.
Bradley, 66-73, 142-148; Wilner, 73-74.
7.
See "News Photos", Passenger Train Journal 18 ( May 1987): 7; Simon Webley , Stiffening the Sinews of the Nations ( London: British-North American Committee, 1985); Pat Choate and Susan Walter, America in Ruins ( Durham, NC: Duke, 1981).
8.
Annual Report ( Washington, DC: National Railroad Passenger Corporation, 1986), 11.
9.
Annual Report ( Washington, DC: National Railroad Passenger Corporation, 1987), 1-3; Statistical Appendix to Amtrak FY 1994 Annual Report ( Washington, DC: National Railroad Passenger Corporation, 1994); Wilner, 94.
10.
Annual Report, 1987, 3; "The Journal", Passenger Train Journal 19 ( June 1988): 4.
11.
Annual Report, 1987, 6-7, 9; Statistical Appendix.
12.
Amtrak's Northeast Corridor Trains Operate with a One-Person Locomotive Crew ( Washington, DC: General Accounting Office, 1985), iii-iv, 13-14, 20.
13.
Annual Report, 1987, 3; Annual Report ( Washington, DC: National Railroad Passenger Corporation, 1993), 2.

-28-

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Amtrak: The History and Politics of a National Railroad
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - Creating Amtrak 1
  • Notes 12
  • 2 - Development: Building the System 15
  • Notes 28
  • 3 - Distribution: Who Gets Service? 31
  • Notes 42
  • 4 - The States: Reluctant Partners? 47
  • Notes 58
  • 5 - International Amtrak 61
  • Notes 69
  • 6 - Bringing Passengers on Board 71
  • Notes 78
  • 7 - The Balance Sheet 81
  • Notes 91
  • 8 - Amtrak: Worth the Cost? 93
  • Notes 103
  • Bibliography 107
  • Index 115
  • About the Book 119
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