Amtrak’s $100-Million Trains

Fred Frailey did some digging and found some stupefying numbers for the yearly operations of select Amtrak passenger trains.

I’m old enough to not be frightened by big numbers. But I have to admit catching my breath when I saw what it costs Amtrak to operate three of its most popular and endearing trains. We’re talking nine digits.

via Trains Magazine.

I’ve had the opportunity to ride one of these trains, the Southwest Chief. For a nostalgic railfan like myself it was a great time. However, it took over 9 hours to travel from Chicago to Kansas City. This is not the model of efficient transportation. I suppose that’s further exemplified in the numbers Fred dug up… $103-million in costs, $62-million in revenue. There’s a reason the private railroads started dumping passenger service throughout the 1960’s… it was not tenable. Apparently it still isn’t.