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The Washington Post’s May 3 editorial attacking America’s long-distance train service is both misguided and mean-spirited, proceeding from a false economic premise and concluding by writing off tens of millions of Americans who don’t live in cities like the Post’s own D.C. headquarters.
The editorial pointed to “losses” on longer routes and the supposed superiority of the Northeast Corridor’s financials to justify gutting the nation’s interstate passenger rail system, trotting out the same tired talking points anti-rail interests have used for decades to club passenger rail – a thriving mode all over the world, in countries both large and small.
Trouble is, the headline “losses” number is misleading due to Amtrak’s accounting policies. The Rail Passengers Association strongly believes that the debate over the future of U.S. passenger rail been distorted by Amtrak’s use of fully allocated costs rather than avoidable costs as required by statute.
This article first appeared on www.railpassengers.org
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