Watch American passenger rail shrivel up and die in this animated map

 

News article: Watch American passenger rail shrivel up and die in this animated map

[color=#4c4e4d][size=4][font=Alright Sans', sans-serif]In the 1960s, the United States had an extensive network of passenger rail trains.

  8077 Chief Train Controller

Location: Crossing the Rubicon
In the 1960s, the United States had an extensive network of passenger rail trains. All the major cities in the Midwest and South were linked by regular train service. You could get service on smaller routes, like the one from Boise, Idaho, to Portland, Oregon, three times a day.
Watch American passenger rail shrivel up and die in this animated map

Great image.  Shows a lot of trackage with passenger services in the USA over an extended period.  Some of these routes are still in use by Amtrak.  

I never understood why the major railways did not continue passenger services on their own tracks subsidised by the government?  Did this all go in the end to Amtrak?

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  73LJWhiteSL Deputy Commissioner

Location: South East Melbourne Surburbs
I think you will find Railroads in America stopped offering passenger services because it was unprofitable. Amtrak was I believe a government initiative to ensure there was still passenger services. The Railroads gave all their Passenger equipment to Amtrak and Amtrak would handle all passenger services at the start of the 70s.

It is a shame there is so little passenger service in America, but then the flights would probably explain that.

I have travelled a considerable part of the USA by Amtrak and would have to say the quality and cost of the services are quite reasonable.

Steve
  aj666 Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide
Which services have you travelled and what would be your favourite routes?
  normw Junior Train Controller

The best I've heard of it, G.M. had a hand in killing off trolley car systems, the automotive industry was an active player in killing off short haul passenger services and airlines did in the long-haul stuff. The industrial 'victors' were, in their time, billon dollar industries, but the worm has been slowly turning. The U.S. thought capitalism would benefit all, but its primary (sole?) aim was to benefit itself. Due to energy, staff, signalling and per-way maintenance costs being directly charged to railways, it is hard to compete against the other two, unless costs are at least partly offset by govt funding in the national interest, which is mostly why Amtrak exists today, but routes are few compared to passenger services at their height.

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