Amtrak, which has never made any money – and has, in fact, required subsidies for all of its surly, customer-unfriendly life – is now proposing to spend about $150 billion to make it possible for riders to go from New York to Philly in under 40 minutes. Which is about how long it takes for passengers to get online using the WiFi currently available on Amtrak's flagship Acela trains.

Amtrak has, at least, come clean on how much taxpayer help it will need to get on with this big plan: “Public sector leadership and funding is essential during the early years.”

Early years? Puts one in mind of Milton Friedman on how "Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program."

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