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Unplug the Subsidies of a Mediocre Amtrak

June 30, 2002

Re "Amtrak's Future Remains Uncertain," June 25: As one who prefers train travel (or did in times past) and has not flown in many years (yes, I'm one of those), still, I say, unplug the endlessly futile Amtrak subsidies and let the free market take a turn. Or have we lost all faith in the private sector?

At best, Amtrak is miserably mediocre. And yes, private industry will have to work with government assistance for new, safer and faster tracks--such as the projected high-speed line between Northern and Southern California.

If I have to take a bus in the meantime, or revert to the precarious skies, so be it. Amtrak has had more than a quarter-century to deliver. No matter how much more money it can extract from cowardly politicians and presidents, it is destined to forever fail. I dream of a better day on the rails.

David Lewis

Piedmont, Calif.

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