Geoff Doughty, Jeffrey Darbee and Eugene Harmon 264 pages hardcover
In 1971, in an effort to rescue essential freight railroads,
the US government founded Amtrak. In the post–World War II era,
aviation and highway development had become the focus of government
policy in America. As rail passenger services declined in number and in
quality, they were simultaneously driving many railroads toward
bankruptcy. Amtrak was intended to be the solution.
In Amtrak, America's Railroad: Transportation's Orphan and Its Struggle for Survival,
Geoffrey H. Doughty, Jeffrey T. Darbee, and Eugene E. Harmon explores
the fascinating history of this beloved institution and tell a tale of a
company hindered by its flawed origin and unequal quality of
leadership, subjected to political gamesmanship and favoritism, and
mired in a perpetual philosophical debate about whether it is a business
or a public service. Featuring interviews with former Amtrak
presidents, the authors explore the current problems and issues facing
Amtrak and their proposed solutions.
Created in the absence of a
comprehensive national transportation policy, Amtrak manages to survive
despite inherent flaws due to the public's persistent loyalty. Amtrak, America's Railroad is essential reading for those who hope to see another fifty years of America's beloved railroad passenger service.