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Intercity passenger rail : financial performance of Amtrak's routes
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  • NTL Classification:
    NTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-Rail Economics and Finance ; NTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-Rail Laws and Regulations ; NTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-Rail Planning and Policy ; NTL-PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION-Transit Planning and Policy ; NTL-PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION-Rail Transit ; NTL-PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION-Transit Economics and Finances ;
  • Abstract:
    Since it began operations in 1971, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation

    (Amtrak) has never been profitable and has received about $21 billion in federal

    subsidies for operating and capital expenses. In December 1994, at the

    direction of the administration, Amtrak established the goal of eliminating its

    need for federal operating subsidies by 2002. However, Amtrak remains heavily

    dependent on substantial federal operating and capital subsidies. Congress

    directed the Government Accounting Office (GAO) to examine the financial

    (1) performance of Amtrak's current routes, (2) implications for Amtrak of

    multiyear capital requirements and declining federal operating subsidies, and

    (3) effect on Amtrak of reforms contained in the Amtrak Reform and

    Accountability Act of 1997. The GAO relied on Amtrak's financial data and

    performance measures to assess the performance of Amtrak's 40 routes.

    Furthermore, the GAO limited our review to the reforms contained in the Amtrak

    Reform and Accountability Act. This report to Congress is the result of that


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