Possible Amtrak Bankruptcy and its affect on the MBTA

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Possible Amtrak Bankruptcy and its affect on the MBTA

Postby bierhere » Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:51 pm

With President Bush's new budget, there is a possibility that Amtrak would no longer exists?

What would be the affect on the MBTA? Right now, Amtrak is dispatching the NEC for free. I would assume that if Amtrak failed, MBCR would take this over with some modifications to the existing contract?

Any other issues?
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Postby efin98 » Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:21 pm

Dispatching would go to MBCR and the T would probably take a good look at the Amtrak locomotives that would become available on the auction block(provided there are funds to grab them).
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Postby Ron Newman » Wed Feb 09, 2005 1:22 am

An Amtrak bankruptcy would probably result in the states of MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, and MD hurriedly putting together an unwieldy multi-state authority to keep the Northeast Corridor running.

I could imagine some future blurring of the now-bright line between commuter and inter-city services, as well as the MBTA coming under some pressure to cooperate with NH and ME to keep the Downeaster going.
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Postby vanshnookenraggen » Wed Feb 09, 2005 3:57 am

There are alot of people in congress who won't let Amtrak die ( I dont mean that to sound as bad as you would think). I heard a few years back a few of them wanted to up the budget for Amtrak but that obviously went nowhere. Amtrak is popular in Congress so I am confident that it will be around for a while.
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Postby Pete » Wed Feb 09, 2005 11:28 am

Ron Newman wrote:An Amtrak bankruptcy would probably result in the states of MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, and MD hurriedly putting together an unwieldy multi-state authority to keep the Northeast Corridor running.

I could imagine some future blurring of the now-bright line between commuter and inter-city services, as well as the MBTA coming under some pressure to cooperate with NH and ME to keep the Downeaster going.


I don't know that it would be unwieldy. What I'd expect is, frankly, a smaller version of Amtrak, a quasi-public corporation set up to run the northeast corridor. It would probably be profitable or at least break even at some point.

That blurring of intercity and commuter you speak of might be a good thing, but given that transit agencies are state-chartered things, intended for the benefit of the customers in a given state, it's not likely to go far. In some places it's already the case -- interstate passenger services abound along the corridor, such that one can almost ride from Philly to Boston on commuter trains (save for that stretch in CT/RI).
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Postby RailBus63 » Thu Feb 10, 2005 12:54 pm

I seriously doubt Congress will let Bush cut Amtrak, but even if he did succeed, the NEC would survive. It wouldn't be like the line would shut down suddenly one day - there would be a lengthy transition period to whatever agency would assume its operation.

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Postby Ken W2KB » Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:02 pm

I would expect that a mid-Atlantic and northeastern state compact would be excuted to form a regional rail transportation authority to continue rail passenger service. It would not be unlike the Port of NY and NJ Authority that owns and operates the PATH rapid transit line in NJ and NY.
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