claim to being the most cost-efficient national rail system in the
world by one very important yardstick: the company's revenue
covers about 80 percent of its operating costs. No other national
public rail system anywhere comes close to that.
Make no mistake, however: Amtrak will always need sup-
port from federal and state governments. Indeed, many states are
already subsidizing many of the short-haul Amtrak trains that
operate within their borders. They understand those trains are
providing essential transportation links for their citizens. Califor-
nia is at the top of this list, with heavy financial support of Pacific
Surfliner trains, which operate between San Luis Obispo and San
Diego through Los Angeles; the Capitol Corridor trains, which
run throughout the Bay Area; and the San Joachin trains, which
operate through the central part of the state.
Washington and Oregon chip in to support the Cascade ser-
vice. These trains operate between Eugene, Oregon; Portland,
Oregon; and Seattle, Washington. There is additional service into
Vancouver, British Columbia.
Maine and Massachusetts subsidize the Downeaster, which
runs between Portland and Boston. The State of Illinois helps
to fund trains running between Chicago and Quincy, between
Chicago and Carbondale, and also from Chicago to St. Louis,
Missouri. Then there's Michigan, which supports trains between
Detroit, Pontiac, and Grand Rapids. There are others, too, but
the point is that all of these states have recognized the importance
of a rail system to their citizens—that is, to their taxpayers.
What Amtrak really needs—in fact, all Amtrak has ever
needed—is a stable source of adequate funding. The key words
are stable and adequate . How can Amtrak be expected to plan
for the orderly replacement of worn-out equipment, for example,
if they have no idea from one year to the next how much money
will be coming from the government? With stable and adequate