Amtrak: America's Passenger Rail Service Getting out of Track?


Code : COM0086

Year :

Industry : Transportation

Region : USA

Teaching Note:Not Available

Structured Assignment :Not Available

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Abstract: Amtrak was started in 1971 by the US government to provide high quality intercity railroad passenger transportation at economical rates.

Although Amtrak was expected to achieve operational self-sufficiency by 1973 without the US government subsidy, the company continued to receive federal subsidies, which amounted to $29 billion by 2004.

In mid-2005, the US government introduced a bill in the Congress titled the Passenger Rail Investment Reform Act, which intended to privatise Amtrak. However, certain lobbies in the US Congress are opposing the bill.

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Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To highlight the challenges faced by Amtrak
  • To discuss the implications of privatising a passenger railroad, which has been losing $1 billion every year since the early 1990s.

    Keywords : National Railroad Passenger Corporation; National monopoly; Amtrak’s operational self-sufficiency; Managing in Troubled Times Case Study; Passenger Rail Investment Reform Act; Privatisation of Amtrak; American aviation industry; American automobile industry; Interstate Commerce Commission; Intercity passenger railroads; Passenger network; Federal subsidies; Fastest mode of transportation; Global privatisation of railroads; Railpax

    Contents :
    » Amtrak: Laying the Tracks
    » A Struggled Existence
    » Would it Survive?

    Case Introduction >>

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