Amtrak, You Suck


Lest we forget, Amtrak, the nation's passenger rail system, sucks. The original news that the service's unadulterated success–the higher-speed Acela line running on Amtrak's only money-making line between Washington, D.C. and Boston–was being pulled due to brake defects has been exacerbated due to a shortage of available parts.

From the SF Chron:

Amtrak pulled all of its 20 Acela trains out of service on Friday after finding millimeter-size cracks in 300 of the fleet's 1,440 disc brake rotors. Each Acela train has 72 brakes.

"This part is unique to the Acela and there is no active production line casting them," said Crosbie said. "The manufacturer has told me this will take some time."

Crosbie said there are fewer than 70 disc brakes available now.

Starting Monday, Metroliner trains–slower than Acela but faster than regular trains–will operate 13 of the 15 Acela round trips between New York and Washington.

Whole thing here.

Reason on Amtrak's spectacular record of money losses here and here.

The Government Accountability Office calling bullshit on Amtrak's accounting process here.

The NY Times' new libertarian op-ed columnist John Tierney on the recent debacle here.