Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Matthew Yglesias

Amtrak’s Future Lies Between Boston and Washington

The best way for the national railroad to become a success is to focus on service in the Northeast.

The future president with his base, September 2008. 

The future president with his base, September 2008. 

Photographer: Gerald Herbert/AP

With America’s No. 1 railfan in the White House and an infrastructure bill at the center of the congressional agenda, it’s no surprise that Amtrak is ready to pitch big ideas such as passenger service on 30 new routes and increased frequency on 20 more.

There’s a political logic to this ambitious plan: Service to more states and more congressional districts will generate more political support. That said, the key to success for America’s National Railroad Passenger Corporation is to think more like a regional railroad — specifically, a northeastern railroad.