Amtrak is talking about overcrowding on the NEC, yet for years the load factors of the Long Distance trains like the Southwest Chief have been almost double those of all corridor trains including on the NEC. The problem is the Long Distance trains are often sold out and can’t increase capacity because of a shortage of equipment. With more cars trains can carry more passengers and produce more revenues. In the case of the Southwest Chief having sections to Denver, to Oakland via the San Joaquin Valley and a Mid-West connection at Kansas City to the East Coast would dramatically increase ridership for Amtrak and gain more political support for Amtrak than pushing for a tunnel that is mostly needed for commuter service to New York City.
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