Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 30, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Amtrak: Long-distance rail will continue to falter without changes

I read with chagrin and some amusement the article regarding the Amtrak Empire Builder and freight hauling [“Freight trains force repeated delays on popular Amtrak route,” News, Dec. 24].

As someone who has tried to schedule a train trip between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., only to be told, “No trains will run today, but we will schedule a bus,” the disappointment is palpable. So much for the romance of the rails.

As long as Amtrak has to run on rail lines owned and operated by commercial railroads, it will likely always be treated as a poor relation. Clearly the railroads run the show; freight trains were able to go between Seattle and Vancouver the day I called. The inner tracks dedicated to Amtrak were closed by mudslides.

Certainly the great distances in this country make other travel options more attractive. Who wants to spend two days on a train, when a jet can get them there in four hours? Yet there should be a place for a well-run passenger-train system more like the European model. Unless Amtrak is given more resources, or the powers of the commercial railroads are reduced, long-distance rail travel will only continue to falter.

Jed Marshall, Edmonds

0 Comments | More in Transportation | Topics: Amtrak, rail

COMMENTS

READER NOTE: Our commenting system has changed. Find out more.

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►