History of Rail in the US - Amtrak's formation in 1971, its present, and its future

The next installment in our series on the History of Rail, Steve Chrismer will present on Amtrak's history, where we are today, and what is needed for a future thriving passenger rail system in the US.

The privatized freight railroad system currently subjects Amtrak trains to long delays, denying them the priority over freight trains as the railroads agreed to when the federal government formed Amtrak in 1971 to relieve the railroads of their obligation to provide passenger service.  Further, Amtrak’s recently announced planned expansion of passenger trains throughout the U.S. will be severely restricted if these violations of the agreement are allowed to stand.

Steve Chrismer has worked in freight and passenger railroad engineering for 40 years, has recently retired from Amtrak, and continues to keep railroads on track to deliver products which benefit people and the planet. 

Tuesday, June 29th

Time: Noon Pacific / 2pm Central / 3pm Eastern


This series, co-sponsored by Railroad Workers United, explores the interweaving of public investment and private profit as related to the US class 1 railroads. We will explore how these common carriers inspired our first regulatory agency the Interstate Commerce Commission. What were the public benefit expectations for that accompanied the monopoly privileges of the railroads? What were they given by the US Congress and what were the terms? Together, we will gradually unravel some of the the complex history that is at the foundation for our present day conundrum, i.e. an interstate rail infrastructure that evades public attention and accountability to 21st public interests

June 29, 2021 at 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Bill Moyer ·

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