Reading this piece on Greece's debt-ridden rail system in today's Times, I was struck by these lines:
In spite of about $3.2 billion of investment since 1997, outside of the main route between Athens and Thessaloniki, the network seems in many respects patchwork and at times chaotic.
Earlier this month, for example, a trip from Athens to Diakopto, a seaside town on the northern coast of the Peloponnese, took more than four hours. The journey required train passengers to complete a second leg by transferring to an overcrowded bus that was delayed for an hour. The result was a near riot as enraged passengers hurled abuse at overwhelmed train officials.
That seems to me to be a fair description of Amtrak rail-service outside the main Northeast Corridor line. Tell me again why governments subsidize at a loss public rail systems no one rides and few passengers like? "Joe Biden" does not count as an answer!
Bonus reading: John Tierney's classic 2002 piece for the Times magazine, "Amtrak Must Die."