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Amtrak: Past, Present, Future Paperback – 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Simmons-Boardman Books, Inc. (2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0911382607
  • ISBN-13: 978-0911382600
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 10 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,816,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Frank Wilner's "Amtrak: Past, Present, and Future" details everything you would want to know about its subject,born in poverty and often regarded as Washington's "stepchild." Wilner, a transportation scholar, tells us about Amtrak's struggle just to survive (42 years and counting) as America's passenger railroad. Some of his most fascinating chapters take the reader to the closed door meetings of D.C. corridors where the giants of the Class 1 rail industry begged government decision-makers from the White House to Capitol Hill to regulators to relieve them of the mandate to continue operating the "money-losing" passenger trains. The author quotes knowledgeable sources as to how Amtrak came into being at a time when the railroads were hurting, both in infrastructure and their bottom lines. They wanted to focus on more lucrative freight operations. So desperate were the mainlines to offload passenger traffic, Wilner reports, that they settled for less than ideal tradeoffs (i.e. having to give special treatment to Amtrak trains on their property). "Amtrak: Past, Present and Future" reads like a novel. But to date, it ranks among the most authoritative accounts of our present-day inter-city passenger train service
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Format: Paperback
I found the font size the same as with hardcover books and didn't have a problem, although I can understand that some older individuals may have eyesight problems. It's too bad he couldn't read it because I learned a great deal from this book about Amtrak and its problems and promise. I kind of expected a dry history, but found the book written in a really lively tone that kept my interest, and the insight about how passenger trains were saved by Amtrak to be most interesting. The chapters on how Amtrak struggled in the beginning and chapters on the Northeast Corridor and high-speed rail were most interesting. As the saying goes, if we don't learn from the past we are doomed to repeat mistakes. I think every congressman should read this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very few people have the talent to craft a concise corporate history, including all of the pertinent facts, while still keeping it interesting. Frank Wilner is one of those rare, gifted authors. While he's been a spokesman for the rail industry in the public and private sector, as well as a large railroad union, Wilner pulls no punches. After reading this book, you will have a grasp of how Amtrak came to be, how it almost didn't, what it evolved into and what the future is likely to hold for rail passenger service in this country.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The print is VERY small. For the price I was expecting a full size hardcover book. It is extremely hard to read. It was a gift for my husband a retired Amtrak employee. I think he would enjoy it if he could read it :(
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