Expand Amtrak?!?!?


I read over the weekend where a group wants to expand Amtrak service from Oklahoma City to Kansas City. Or to put it more correctly, they want the people of Oklahoma and Kansas to foot the bill for this expansion. Somehow those with the ideas never have a method of paying for these crazy ideas unless it comes out of the pockets of others.

A member of the group was quoted as saying “I haven’t found one person yet who says that’s a crazy idea.” Well, you’ve found one now. I say it’s a crazy idea.

Amtrak has been a money loser from day one. It is billions of dollars in the red each year, but for some reason we keep funding it. I wish they’d get rid of every song or movie that waxes nostalgic about trains, because those images are costing us a ton of money.

This group wants each state to spend upwards of $200MM to get the project off the ground, and that doesn’t count yearly operating costs — which would easily be in the red each year.

How can anyone even entertain an idea like this. And for what? One group member was aghast that they had to drive 20 miles north of Wichita to catch Amtrak. 20 miles!!! That poor soul. Must feel like they’re living in a third-world country.

And the really crazy thing, it’s likely to pass. It will be an uphill battle in Kansas, though, as their laws currently prohibit the use of state money to pay for passenger rail operations. However, whenever legislators smell money in their district, anything can happen.


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