Amtrak fund a state operation we seemed to get ignored like many other places.
In fact, Amtrak passed its 37th birthday on May 1st; I would scarcely call it a celebration since there is little to celebrate. I guess we can celebrate that we do have some semblance of a rail passenger network in place sense the creation of Amtrak was designed to shut down rail passenger service, not make it survive.
Personally, I support long distance rail passenger service. In the past year I have taken a couple of trips over to Denver on the California Zephyr, plus my wife and I have traveled up to Portland, Seattle and Spokane on the Coast Starlight, Cascade Service, and the Empire Builder respectively.
However, while Amtrak seemed to make progress in its first 10 years especially redoing the run down fleet in found itself with, there has been little progress when it comes to rail passenger service the Carter Administration cut many trains out. Today, the system is in worse shape for the most part than when Amtrak first started on May 1st, 1971.
In fact the only success stories you find is were the states have funded improvements having to bring Amtrak along kicking and screaming.
Rail Passenger service can be a success in spite of Amtrak not because if it. Here is some articles that may be of interest including one I wrote a few years ago comparing Amtrak to K-Mart.
Does Amtrak Have Too Much in Common with K-Mart?
America wants more Rail Passenger Service
Amtrak needs leadership, not more managers
The CZ: Amtrak’s forgotten train
The Long Distance Trains need more local control
Matrix Theory is not the name of a movie
What Do We Need From Amtrak?
Strategic Points for a Privatized National Rail Passenger System
Three Radical Ideas Concerning Amtrak
Concepts Of The Successful Long Distance Train Of The Future
Overview, Concepts Of The Successful Long Distance Train Of The Future
Corridor and Long Distance Myths and Realities