POLITICS

How Washington Derailed Amtrak - NationalJournal.com

FILE-In this March 11, 2013 file photo, the Amtrak Vermonter heads south in Middlesex, Vt. Amtrak says ridership was up in tw
FILE-In this March 11, 2013 file photo, the Amtrak Vermonter heads south in Middlesex, Vt. Amtrak says ridership was up in two of its three northern New England routes in the last fiscal year. Amtrak said Monday that ridership increased 3.5 percent on the Downeaster, which travels from Boston to Maine and includes stops in New Hampshire. The Vermonter service from St. Albans to Washington, D.C., also saw an increase in ridership and sales, with ridership going up 2.5 percent. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

Thirty-nine minutes into his southbound ride from Wilmington, Delaware, to Washington, D.C., Joseph H. Boardman, president and CEO of Amtrak, begins to cry. We're in the dining car of a train called the Silver Star, surrounded by people eating hamburgers. The Silver Star runs from New York City to Miami in 31 hours, or five more hours than the route took in 1958, which is when our dining car was built. Boardman and I have been discussing the unfortunate fact that 45 years since its inception, the company he oversees remains a poorly funded, largely neglected ward of the state, unable to fully control its own finances or make its own decisions. I ask him, "Is this a frustrating job?"

Read more on National Journal

CONVERSATIONS