Amtrak Finally Enjoys a Business Boom...And Can't Handle The Load

Demand destruction for oil and gas is real. Just ask the environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient Amtrak (WSJ):

The number of people riding Amtrak surged 13.9% in July from a year earlier, as high gas prices caused more commuters to rely on intercity rail.

But many Amtrak trains are getting overcrowded, and a backlog of infrastructure problems stands in the way of expanded service.

Since last fall, Americans have been driving less while Amtrak usage has steadily increased. The latest figures suggest that the migration from highways to rail is accelerating.

So does America’s newfound love of trains mean we’ll have a new European-style high-speed service on the way? Keep dreaming:

“There’s two railroads out there,” [Amtrak President Alex] Kummant said. “There’s the one we run every day, and there’s the one everybody imagines is out there.”

Apparently years of eminent domain proceedings will stall the imaginary one. And will the sudden demand cure the perpetually bankrupt Amtrak’s financial woes? We’ll believe it when we see it.

See Also:
Upside of $130 Oil: Railroads Surge

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