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Amtrak VP: High-Speed Rail Needed

trainAmtrak Vice President Al Engel says the nation cannot meet 21st Century transportation needs without high-speed rail, and it requires a public investment. He says private investors will not see a return soon enough to justify putting up their money.

“Investors want to see a payback in five years or maybe a little longer.  With a project like this you’re not going to see a payback for ten years or more, so up front there has to be a public investment, but once the infrastructure is there on the right high-speed rail corridors you do not need an operating subsidy.”

He says the state and federal governments have to make policy decisions about subsidizing the infrastructure, and in the end they will see a return on their investments.

“It’s not coming all back in the fare box, but it’s coming back in the jobs that are created for the community and the economic activity.  It’s an indirect result, but the government makes it in taxes, so there’s a return on that investment by the government.”

Engel says Amtrak makes a profit on its Acela and Northeast Corridor service, which it uses to subsidize service elsewhere, and system-wide it covers 85 percent of expenses through revenues generated, which is far better than SEPTA and most other regional transit systems.  He says the federal government has been subsidizing transportation since Thomas Jefferson was president, when it helped with canals, and Abraham Lincoln authorized land grants and other help for the first transcontinental railroad.  He appeared Wednesday on the WNPV talk program Legally Speaking.
WNPV AM 1440 As you plan your holiday shopping, think about the "Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses" from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (www.ilsr.org): Environmental Sustainability. Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution. "Shop Locally for the Holidays!"
Institute for Local Self-Reliance ilsr.org Building Community, Strengthening Economies
WNPV AM 1440 As you plan your holiday shopping, think about the "Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses" from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (www.ilsr.org): Competition. A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.
Institute for Local Self-Reliance ilsr.org Building Community, Strengthening Economies
WNPV AM 1440 As you plan your holiday shopping, think about the "Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses" from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (www.ilsr.org): Product Diversity. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices. "Shop Locally for the Holidays."
Institute for Local Self-Reliance ilsr.org Building Community, Strengthening Economies
WNPV AM 1440 Tune in tonight at 7:55 PM for WNPV's first broadcast of the year of Gwynedd Mercy University Men's basketball.
WNPV AM 1440 Big sports weekend coming up! Start tonight with Downingtown East at Quakertown high school football at 6:30 PM. Tomorrow, we have Temple at Penn State starting at 10:30 AM (sorry, no "Premium Adjustment" this month! :(), followed by the final NASCAR Nationwide Series race, joined in progress. Sunday, it's the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race with the crowning of this year's Champion, starting at 2 PM. So stay tuned to 1440 AM all weekend ... or listen live online at www.wnpv1440.com.
WNPV AM 1440 High School football tomorrow night on WNPV: Downingtown East at Quakertown at 7 PM. Tune to 1440 AM or listen live online at www.wnpv1440.com.

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