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American Opinion: On Amtrak

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An excerpt from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States:

By The Associated Press

On Amtrak:

... President Obama and top Democrats on Capitol Hill want to pump up mass transit, including Amtrak, with massive new federal subsidies. They may even go as far as reviving one of Amtrak's biggest losers, the old Sunset Limited Line that passed through Atmore, Pascagoula and Mobile.

Passenger service on the Sunset Limited, a route that runs from Los Angeles to Orlando, Fla., was suspended east of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast in 2005. Before Katrina hit, the Bush administration had been looking to get rid of Amtrak's "underused and inefficient" routes. The Sunset Limited, underused even by Amtrak's low standards of ridership, clearly fit this description.

Despite its long record of futility, Amtrak has a lot of fans in Washington -- mainly pork lovers from both parties and ideological liberals who prefer mass transit to auto travel. The passenger rail service also enjoys support from some local government officials, including Mobile Mayor Sam Jones, who view it as a nice amenity for their constituents. ...

The Press-Register editorial board has nothing against train travel, but with the federal defi-cit headed toward previously undreamed of heights, the board believes that throwing more federal money at the Amtrak failure would be, well, stupid.

-- Press-Register, Mobile, Ala.

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