The Ostern (Eastern) or Red Western was the Soviet Union and Iron Curtain countries' take on the Western movie.
It generally took two forms:
Naturally many of these contained political messages, but they can still be watched impartially as action films, comedies etc, and it is certainly true to say that American director John Ford imbued his films with controversial political messages too.
'Red Westerns' in an international context
'Red Westerns' of the first type are often compared to 'Spaghetti Westerns' (although technically these are 'Paella Westerns' being shot in Spain, rather than Italy), in that they use local scenery to double up for the American West. In particular, Yugoslavia, Mongolia and the Southern USSR were used.
'Red Westerns' provide a counterpoint to familiar mythologies and conventions of the original genre, particularly as the makers were on the other side of a propaganda war without parallel, the Cold War, and this is partially why many have never been shown in the west, at least not until after the Cold War ended. In a war in which many fabrications were made on both sides, there was often a lingering fascination with the cultural developments in enemy countries.
Westerns have proven particularly transferrable in the way that they create a mythology out of relatively recent history, a malleable idea that translates well to different cultures. In Russia, the Ostern uses the generic calling cards of the American Western to dramatise the civil war in Central Asia in the 1920s and 30s, in which the Red Army fought to maintain their country against Islamic Turkic 'Basmachi' rebels. By substituting, 'red' for 'blue' and 'Turk' for Mexican, there are the same opportunities for a sweeping drama played out against a backdrop of wide-open spaces. The Ural Mountains can be equivalent to Monument Valley, the Volga river for the Rio Grande. Add the gun slinging ethos, horse riding, working the land, pioneers of a sort (ideological often in this case!), the bounty hunter traversing difficult terrain with outlaw in tow, railroading and taming the wild frontier and you have a generic mirror image of the American genre.
Red Westerns which use the actual American west as a setting include, the Romanian The Oil, the Baby and the Transylvanians (Pruncul, Petrolul Si Ardelenii, 1981) which dramatises the struggles of Romanian and Hungarian settlers in a new land. The Czech Lemonade Joe and the Soviet A Man from the Boulevard des Capuchines plump for pastiche or satire, making fun of the hard worn conventions of the American films. The German The Sons of the Great Mother Bear (Die Söhne der großen Bärin, 1966) turned the traditional American "Cowboy and Indian" conventions on their head, casting the Native Americans as the heroes and the American Army as the villains, with some obvious Cold War overtones... it started a series of "Indian films" by the East German DEFA studios which were quite successful.
Interestingly, many of the non-Soviet examples of the genre were international co-productions akin to the Spaghetti Westerns. The Sons of the Great Mother Bear for example was a co-production between East Germany and Czechoslovakia, starring a Yugoslav, scripted in German, and shot in a number of different Eastern Bloc countries and used a variety of locations including Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Mongolia and Czechoslovakia. The Oil, the Baby and the Transylvanians was a Romanian film, but featured emigrant Hungarians heavily in the storyline.
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The Oil, the Baby and the Transylvanians was a Romanian film, but featured emigrant Hungarians heavily in the storyline. All trainsets were returned to service by September of that year. The Sons of the Great Mother Bear for example was a co-production between East Germany and Czechoslovakia, starring a Yugoslav, scripted in German, and shot in a number of different Eastern Bloc countries and used a variety of locations including Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Mongolia and Czechoslovakia. In April 2005, all 20 trainsets were removed from service to repair cracked brake rotors. Interestingly, many of the non-Soviet examples of the genre were international co-productions akin to the Spaghetti Westerns. However, the innovative service has not been without problems. it started a series of "Indian films" by the East German DEFA studios which were quite successful. This service has been so popular, in fact, that the Acela trains even cover their "above the rail" costs (operating expenses, but not capital to maintain infrastructure).
The German The Sons of the Great Mother Bear (Die Söhne der großen Bärin, 1966) turned the traditional American "Cowboy and Indian" conventions on their head, casting the Native Americans as the heroes and the American Army as the villains, with some obvious Cold War overtones.. Twenty Acela Express trainsets have been used to provide popular high-speed rail service along the Northeast Corridor between South Station in Boston and Union Station in Washington D.C. The Czech Lemonade Joe and the Soviet A Man from the Boulevard des Capuchines plump for pastiche or satire, making fun of the hard worn conventions of the American films. These private cars may be used by their owners or chartered by individuals for private travel behind regularly scheduled Amtrak trains. Red Westerns which use the actual American west as a setting include, the Romanian The Oil, the Baby and the Transylvanians (Pruncul, Petrolul Si Ardelenii, 1981) which dramatises the struggles of Romanian and Hungarian settlers in a new land. Well organized groups such as the American Association for Private Rail Car Owners, Inc., (AAPRC) represent the interest of car owners in dealing with private and public organizations such as Amtrak. Add the gun slinging ethos, horse riding, working the land, pioneers of a sort (ideological often in this case!), the bounty hunter traversing difficult terrain with outlaw in tow, railroading and taming the wild frontier and you have a generic mirror image of the American genre. Private railroad cars may also connect to Amtrak trains if suitably certified and equipped with Head End Power (HEP).
The Ural Mountains can be equivalent to Monument Valley, the Volga river for the Rio Grande. The original cars that Amtrak inherited from the railroads in 1971 are known as the Heritage Fleet and are almost all retired. By substituting, 'red' for 'blue' and 'Turk' for Mexican, there are the same opportunities for a sweeping drama played out against a backdrop of wide-open spaces. Baggage cars, autoracks for Auto Train service, and maintenance of way rolling stock make up the remainder of the fleet. In Russia, the Ostern uses the generic calling cards of the American Western to dramatise the civil war in Central Asia in the 1920s and 30s, in which the Red Army fought to maintain their country against Islamic Turkic 'Basmachi' rebels. The newest sleeping car in service is the Viewliner. Westerns have proven particularly transferrable in the way that they create a mythology out of relatively recent history, a malleable idea that translates well to different cultures. Many are Superliner I and II models, Amfleet I and II, Horizon Fleet.
In a war in which many fabrications were made on both sides, there was often a lingering fascination with the cultural developments in enemy countries. Amtrak operates 425 locomotives (351 diesel and 74 electric), 2,141 railroad cars including several types of passenger cars (including 168 sleeper cars, 760 coach cars, 126 first class/business class cars, 66 dormitory/crew cars, 225 lounge/café/dinette cars, and 92 dining cars). 'Red Westerns' provide a counterpoint to familiar mythologies and conventions of the original genre, particularly as the makers were on the other side of a propaganda war without parallel, the Cold War, and this is partially why many have never been shown in the west, at least not until after the Cold War ended. . In particular, Yugoslavia, Mongolia and the Southern USSR were used. Also owned by Amtrak is Passenger Railroad Insurance. 'Red Westerns' of the first type are often compared to 'Spaghetti Westerns' (although technically these are 'Paella Westerns' being shot in Spain, rather than Italy), in that they use local scenery to double up for the American West. It has a 99.7% interest in the Washington Terminal Company (Washington Union Station) and 99% of 30th Street Limited (Philadelphia 30th Street Station).
Naturally many of these contained political messages, but they can still be watched impartially as action films, comedies etc, and it is certainly true to say that American director John Ford imbued his films with controversial political messages too. Amtrak wholly owns the Chicago Union Station Company (Chicago Union Station) and Penn Station Leasing (New York Penn Station). It generally took two forms:. Amtrak also owns station and yard tracks in: Chicago, Hialeah (near Miami, Florida) (leased from the State of Florida), Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Oakland (Kirkham Street Yard), Orlando, Portland, Oregon, Saint Paul, Minnesota, Seattle, Washington, DC. The Ostern (Eastern) or Red Western was the Soviet Union and Iron Curtain countries' take on the Western movie. This line runs from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and is in the midst of a rehabilitation project that will eventually see 110 mph (about 175 km/h) service. Examples of these include The Burning Miles (Ognennie Versti/Огненные вёрсты, 1957), The Bodyguard (Telokhranitel/Телохранитель, 1979), At Home among Strangers (1971), and famous Soviet film White Sun of the Desert (Beloye Solntse Pustynt/Белое солнце пустыни', 1970). While some of these are obviously influenced by Westerns, in some cases, the material can be seen as a parallel formation. Amtrak's portion was acquired in 1976 as a result of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act.
Easterns (Osterns), which took place usually on the steppes or Asian parts of the USSR, especially during the Russian Revolution or following Civil War. These are combined with those of several state and regional commuter agencies in what amounts to a cooperative arrangement. These were much more common in Eastern Europe, rather than the USSR itself. and Boston via Philadelphia and New York City is largely composed of Amtrak's own tracks. Proper Red Westerns, set in America's 'Wild West', such as Czechoslovakia's Lemonade Joe (Limonadovy Joe, 1964), or the East-German The Sons of the Great Mother Bear (Die Söhne der großen Bärin, 1966) or The Oil, the Baby and the Transylvanians (Pruncul, Petrolul Si Ardelenii, Romania, 1981) involving radically different themes and genres. The Northeast Corridor between Washington, D.C. .
Amtrak owns and operates the following lines. Along the NEC and in several other areas, Amtrak owns 730 route-miles of track (1175 km), including 17 tunnels consisting of 29.7 miles of track (47.8 km), and 1,186 bridges (including the famous Hell Gate Bridge) consisting of 42.5 miles (68.4 km) of track. Other sections are owned by terminal railroads jointly controlled by freight companies or by commuter rail agencies. Amtrak operates over all seven Class I railroads, as well as several short lines - the Guilford Rail System, New England Central Railroad and Vermont Railway.
Most tracks are owned by freight railroads. On most parts of the few lines that Amtrak owns, it has trackage rights agreements allowing freight railroads to use its trackage. Amtrak also hauled mail for the United States Postal Service as well as time sensitive freight shipments, but discontinued these services in October of 2004. At smaller stations, funeral directors must load and unload the shipment onto and off the train.
Amtrak Express also offers station-to-station shipment of human remains to many express cities. Amtrak Express provides small package and less-than-truckload shipping services between more than 100 cities. Members can then redeem these points for free or discounted Amtrak tickets and other awards. Guest Rewards members accumulate points by riding Amtrak and through other activities.
Amtrak operates a loyalty program called Guest Rewards, which is similar to the frequent flyer programs offered by many airlines. Amtrak also coordinates Thruway Motorcoach service to extend many of its routes, particularly in California. In addition, Amtrak serves airport stations at Milwaukee and Baltimore. Amtrak also code shares with Continental Airlines providing service between Newark Liberty International Airport (via its Amtrak station) and Philadelphia 30th St, Wilmington, Stamford, and New Haven.
With few exceptions, Amtrak rail stations located in downtown areas have connections to local public transit. Intermodal connections between Amtrak trains and other transportation are available at many stations. In the past, Amtrak has operated Metrolink , and MBTA Commuter Rail. Through various commuter services, Amtrak serves an additional 61.1 million passengers per year in conjunction with state and regional authorities in California, Washington, Maryland, Connecticut, and Virginia:.
Phoenix lost service in 1995 when Southern Pacific (now Union Pacific) abandoned the line from Phoenix to Yuma. Others have only indirect service for other reasons, such as Phoenix, Arizona, which is served via Thruway coach from the Southwest Chief train at Flagstaff, Arizona or the nearby, yet remote due to a lack of any public transportation connection, Maricopa, Arizona roughly thirty miles from the city. Other cities are not served directly due to inconvenient water barriers including Norfolk (#31) and Virginia Beach in the Hampton Roads area, and San Francisco, where trains stop across the bay in Oakland and Emeryville. In addition, several major cities and regional business centers (including three with more than a million residents) are not served by Amtrak including:.
The only states that are not served by Amtrak trains are Alaska (served by the Alaska Railroad), Hawaii, South Dakota, and Wyoming (lost service in the 1997 cuts; served by Amtrak's Thruway Motorcoaches). Likewise, the Keystone Service, operating between Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia (and to New York City), the Hiawatha, with service between Chicago and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Empire Service between New York City and Albany, New York, the Downeaster between Boston and Portland, Maine, and the Amtrak Cascades (Vancouver, British Columbia - Eugene, Oregon via Portland, Oregon and Seattle) operate more than once daily. On the west coast, San Joaquins (Sacramento/Oakland - Bakersfield, California), Pacific Surfliner (San Luis Obispo - San Diego, California, via Los Angeles), and the Capitol Corridor (Auburn, California - Sacramento - San Jose via Oakland) provide service more than once daily. Most popular routes include those on the Northeast Corridor (Acela Express, Metroliner, and Regional services) that serve Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston.
These names often reflect the rich and complex history of the route itself, or of the area traversed by the route. Amtrak gives each of its train routes a name. However, some routes, such as the Pacific Surfliners, use the exact opposite numbering system, which they inherited from the previous operators of similar routes, such as the Santa Fe Railroad. As a general rule, even-numbered routes run north and east while odd numbered routes run south and west.
Several states have entered into operating partnerships with Amtrak, notably California, Illinois, Oregon, Washington, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. Hoping to spur Congress to overhaul the way Amtrak does business, the budget proposed by the Bush Administration for fiscal 2006 would eliminate Amtrak's operating subsidy and set aside $360 million to run trains along the Northeast Corridor once the railroad ceases operating. President to the Congress does not support Amtrak's continued existence in its current form. As has been the practice in most years, the current budget proposal from the U.S.
In Congressional testimony, the Department of Transportation's inspector-general confirmed that Amtrak would need at least $1.4 billion to $1.5 billion in fiscal 2006 and $2 billion in fiscal 2007 just to maintain the status quo. However, the company's board has requested $1.8 billion through fiscal 2006, the majority of which, about $1.3 billion, would be used to bring infrastructure, rolling stock, and motive power back to a state of good repair. In fiscal 2004 and 2005, Congress appropriated about $1.2 billion for Amtrak, $300 million more than President Bush had requested. A stalemate in federal subsidization of Amtrak has led to cutbacks in services and routes for the last several years, and some deferred maintenance.
Amtrak's ongoing need for federal government funding leads to recurring budget crises and debates over its possible elimination. The need to bring fundamental change to Amtrak is greater and more urgent than ever before." The board envisions fundamental changes for the railroad including increasing competition and shared financial responsibilities with states.. David Laney, Amtrak's chairman, stated "Amtrak's future now requires a different type of leader who will aggressively tackle the company's financial, management and operational challenges. David Hughes, previously the Chief Engineer of Amtrak, was named as acting president and CEO until a permanent replacement can be appointed.
He refused and was terminated. Gunn to step down as president. On November 9, 2005, Amtrak's board of directors asked David L. This improved labor relations to some extent, even as Amtrak's ranks of unionized and salaried workers have been reduced.
He had stated that continued deferred maintenance will become a safety issue which he will not tolerate. He had been very proactive in reducing layers of management overhead and has eliminated almost all of the controversial express business. Some of Gunn's actions have been seen by many as politically wise. McCain, usually not at a loss for words when debating Amtrak funding, did not reply.
Before a congressional hearing, Gunn answered a demand by leading Amtrak critic Arizona Senator John McCain to eliminate all operating subsidies by asking the Senator if he would also demand the same of the commuter airlines, upon whom the citizens of Arizona are dependent. Highways, airports, and air traffic control all require large government expenditures to build and operate, although some of those expenditures are not as obvious as Amtrak's direct subsidies, instead appearing as user fees and highway fuel and road taxes. In a departure from his recent predecessors' promises to make Amtrak self-sufficient in the short term, the Gunn administration took the stance that no form of mass passenger transportation in the United States is self-sufficient as the economy is currently structured, and that Amtrak should not be judged by different standards than other transport modes. Perhaps more than any past president of Amtrak, Gunn seemed willing to publicly confront the policy and budget positions of the President of the United States who appointed the board at whose pleasure the Amtrak president serves.
He was also seen as more credible than some of his recent predecessors by Congress, the media, and many Amtrak supporters and employees. Gunn was polite but direct in response to congressional criticism. Graham Claytor came out of retirement by request in 1982. Supporters consider Gunn's credentials to be the strongest at the head of Amtrak since W.
Navy in the Naval Reserve. Before that, he had experience with the U.S. Prior to 1974, Gunn also gained private-sector railroad experience with Illinois Central Gulf Railroad, the New York Central Railroad System (before their 1968 merger into Penn Central) and for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The two agencies were each the largest transit operations of their respective countries.
His work as president of the New York City Transit Authority from 1984 to 1990 and as Chief General Manager of the Toronto Transit Commission in Canada from 1995-1999 earned him a great deal of operating credibility, despite a sometimes-rough relationship with politicians and labor unions. Years earlier, Gunn's refusal to "do politics" put him at odds with the WMATA (Metro) board, which includes representatives from the District of Columbia and suburban jurisdictions in Maryland and Virginia during his tenure from 1991-1994. Gunn came with a reputation as a strong, straightforward and experienced operating manager, but his blunt style sometimes put him at odds with others. Gunn was selected as Amtrak president in April 2002, Amtrak self-sufficiency had largely fallen out of favor as a realistic short-term goal.
When David L. Warrington also had the burden of delays in implementation of the new Acela Express high-speed trainsets, which promised to be a strong source of income and favorable publicity along the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington DC. The express work also brought Amtrak new political enemies in the powerful trucking lobby before Congress. The efforts to expand Amtrak's express income were unpopular with the host freight railroads, who did not want the additional Amtrak traffic it brought (or the competition).
Claytor also enjoyed the benefit of serving during the Reagan Administration when increases in federal spending on military items were drawing much of the political attention in Congress. In fairness, while both Downs and Warrington had extensive experience in government, neither had the non-governmental cost accounting or practical experience in private-sector railroading that Claytor had. Finally, at the end of the 5-year period, it became clear that self-sufficiency was an unachievable goal, no matter how much additional express revenue was gained or how many cuts were made in Amtrak services. Passengers became "guests" and there were expansions into express freight work.
Under Warrington's administration, Amtrak was mandated by the Administration and Congress to become totally self-sufficient within a five-year period, and all its management efforts were directed to that goal. When he took the helm of Amtrak in January, 1998, self-sufficiency was still officially a stated goal, although it was becoming elusive in the eyes of Congress. He had previously been in charge of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor Business Unit. After Downs left Amtrak, George Warrington was appointed by the board as the company's next president.
Under Downs, Amtrak began to claim that it could achieve operating self-sufficiency, and its leaders seemed to be increasingly misleading as to the prospects of achieving that goal when pressed by Congress and the media. Downs had been city administrator of Washington DC, and oversaw the Union Station project, which had experienced both massive delays and cost overruns. Claytor's replacement was Thomas Downs. Further, they each inherited the goal of making Amtrak operationally self-sufficient, an idea which began under David Stockman and his successors at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) while Claytor was Amtrak's president (circa 1986).
Two of the leaders who followed Claytor lacked freight railroad or private-sector experience. . According to an article in Fortune magazine, through vigorous cost cutting and aggressive marketing, within 7 years under Claytor, Amtrak was generating enough cash to cover 72% of its $1.7 billion operating budget by 1989, up from 48% in 1981. Of course, politics aside, that may have also been because he did a good job.
Claytor seemed to enjoy a good relationship with the Congress for his 11 years in the position. Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole also tacitly supported Amtrak. Riley, an attorney who was the highly-skilled head of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) under the Reagan Administration from 1983-1989. He was recruited and strongly supported by John H.
Secretary of Transportation in the cabinet of President Jimmy Carter in 1979, and came out of retirement to lead Amtrak after the disastrous financial results during the Carter administration (1977-1981). Claytor had served briefly as an acting U.S. brought his naval and railroad experience to the job. Graham Claytor Jr.
Secretary of the Navy and retired Southern Railway head W. For example, in 1982, former U.S. However, Amtrak has also benefited from both highly skilled and politically-oriented leaders. Because Amtrak's board and president are all political appointees, some have had little or no experience with railroads.
Congress. presidencies and major shifts of power in the U.S. Both congressional funding and appointments of Amtrak's leaders are subject to political considerations, which have varied widely during its existence through seven U.S. government.
Without a dedicated source of capital equipment and operating funding (except for competitive passenger fares and even less express income), Amtrak's continued operation has always been dependent upon the Executive and Legislative branches of the U.S. As it owns little track, it must rely on maintenance done by the freight owners, and sometimes has to cancel service over routes taken out-of-service by the host freight railroad (as occurred recently with service to Phoenix, Arizona) or pay to maintain the tracks. Amtrak is in many ways dependent on freight railroads. The concept of Amtrak as a for-profit business was fatally flawed before the first passenger boarded.
Even highly efficient private-sector railroads such as the Norfolk and Western Railway could not earn a profit, or even recover operating expenses for passenger service. There have been few times in history when any intercity rail passenger operation in the world has been profitable, even with respect to only its operating costs, and passenger trains have never brought in enough revenue to pay their infrastructure costs. From the outset, Amtrak was expected to pursue conflicting goals: Amtrak was supposed to continue providing a national rail passenger service in the face of significantly diminished demand while simultaneously operating as a commercial enterprise. This was causing increasingly large financial losses for the railroads as the networks of federally-funded highways and airports expanded.
Amtrak was established to relieve railroads of their federally-mandated responsibility to transport passengers as a priority over freight. Another rebound occurred after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Consequently, Amtrak's ridership began to increase. Given that railroads use fuel very efficiently, passenger rail travel no longer seemed quite so outmoded.
The fuel shortages of the mid-1970s on the nation's highways and increased air fares which also resulted in creating a renewed interest in passenger rail travel. Today, Amtrak trains are staffed by Amtrak employees but, other than on the routes that Amtrak owns outright, are dispatched by the host railroads on whose tracks these trains operate. Amtrak soon purchased the best of the railroad equipment and subsequently has purchased new equipment. At the beginning in 1971, the host railroads supplied the rolling stock and operating crews.
However, the majority of Amtrak's routes are hosted by private railroads, to which Amtrak pays the costs of adding its passenger trains to the freight trains of the host railroad. In subsequent years, various short route segments needed for passenger operations but not for freight were transferred to Amtrak ownership. As part of this legislation, the vital Northeast Corridor passenger route was transferred to Amtrak, and the corporation became a true railroad for the first time. Following the bankruptcy declaration of several northeastern railroads in the early 1970s — particularly that of Penn Central, which owned and operated the Northeast Corridor, Congress passed the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 to create a consolidated, federally-subsidized freight network called Conrail.
In its original conception, Amtrak did not own any track and thus was not a true railroad. That route was inaugurated September 29, 1972 along Boston and Maine Railroad and Canadian National Railway track that had last seen passenger service in 1966. The first all-new Amtrak route, in other words a route that had not been operated immediately prior to Amtrak, was the Montrealer/Washingtonian. Except for the joining of routes through Oakland, California to create the continuous Coast Starlight, all Amtrak services on day one were continued from pre-Amtrak operations.
Both the Reading and CSS&SB operations qualified as intercity passenger service, but were fundamentally longer-than-average distance commuter train operations. CSS&SB trains still operate, now by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District. The Reading Philadelphia-Newark Penn Station service stayed around into Conrail and was discontinued in 1983. The last Georgia Railroad mixed train was operated May 6, 1983 by the Seaboard System Railroad.
The bankrupt CRI&P ran its last intercity passenger trains (the Chicago-Peoria Peoria Rocket and the Chicago-Rock Island Quad Cities Rocket) on December 31, 1978. The Zephyr's rerouting onto the scenic D&RGW was delayed by a mudslide and did not take place until July 15, 1983. The D&RGW last operated its Rio Grande Zephyr April 25, 1983, and Amtrak's San Francisco Zephyr was renamed the California Zephyr. The Southern joined on February 1, 1979, when its Southern Crescent became Amtrak's Crescent.
Louis Abraham Lincoln and Prairie State. Another barrier, at Chicago, was broken with the Milwaukee-St. New numbers were also assigned to all trains. The first all-new timetable was dated November 14, 1971, and included several name changes and names for most of the formerly unnamed trains.
Due to pressure from Senator Mike Mansfield of Montana, the North Coast Hiawatha was implemented as a second route to the Pacific Northwest. By the July 12 timetable, service had returned to the Water Level Route with the Lake Shore (named November 14), and the Northeast Corridor received an Inland Route via Springfield, Massachusetts, thanks to money from New York, Ohio and Massachusetts. Former names were kept, and some trains were unnamed at first. The first timetable was compiled from former Official Guide of the Railways schedules with only minor changes.
On the other hand, Amtrak's Coast Starlight (named November 14) was a first, running along the west coast from San Diego to Seattle, combining three separate trains operated by three railroads into one. A 19-hour layover at Cincinnati was necessary for eastbound Chicago-Newport News travelers on the James Whitcomb Riley and George Washington. Several major corridors, including the New York Central Railroad's Water Level Route across Ohio and the Grand Trunk Western Railroad's Chicago-Detroit line, became freight-only in favor of parallel lines. Amtrak began operations May 1, 1971 on a system of about half the size of that operated the previous day.
In addition, the Canadian Pacific Railway's Atlantic, taken over by VIA Rail in 1978, crossed northern Maine until 1994. The Alaska Railroad provided long-distance service, but was already owned by the federal government. The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad, Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, Georgia Railroad, Reading Company and Southern Railway continued to run their own intercity trains after the Amtrak startup date. At Amtrak's startup, 20 out of the 26 eligible railroads had elected to join the Amtrak system:.
However, while Amtrak's political and financial support have often been shaky, popular and political support for Amtrak has allowed it to survive long past its expected lifetime. At the time, many Washington insiders, including President Nixon and his aides, viewed the corporation as a face-saving way for the President and Congress to give passenger trains the one "last hurrah" demanded by the public, but expected that the NRPC would quietly disappear in a few years as public interest waned. The original working brand name for NRPC was Railpax, but shortly prior to the company's assumption of intercity rail passenger operations, the name was changed to Amtrak. While it appeared for some time that President Nixon would veto the legislation, ultimately it was signed into law on October 30, 1970.
The Act provided that. Under the Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970, Congress created the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (NRPC) to subsidize and oversee the operation of intercity passenger trains. The urgency of the need to solve the passenger train problem was heightened by the bankruptcy filing of the Penn Central, the dominant railroad in the Northeast U.S., on June 21, 1970. The proponents were aided by the fact that few in the federal government wanted to be held responsible for the seemingly-inevitable extinction of the passenger train, which most regarded as tantamount to political suicide.
Its lobbying efforts were hampered somewhat by Democratic opposition to any sort of subsidies to the privately-owned railroads, and Republican opposition to nationalization of the railroad industry. The National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) was formed in 1967 to lobby for the continuation of passenger trains. The final blow came with the loss of railway post offices in the 1960s. Meanwhile, companies who were interested in using railroads for profitable freight traffic were looking for ways to get out of those legal obligations, and it looked like intercity passenger rail service would soon become extinct in the United States outside a few highly-populated corridors.
Soon, the only things keeping most passenger trains running were legal obligations. There was little point in operating passenger trains to advertise freight service when those who made decisions about freight shipping traveled by car and by air, and when the railroads' chief competitors for that market were interstate trucking companies. As early as the 1930s, automobile travel had begun to cut into the rail passenger market, somewhat reducing economies of scale, but it was the development of the Interstate Highway System and of commercial aviation in the 1950s and 1960s that dealt the most damaging blows to rail transportation, both passenger and freight. But on routes where two or three railroads were in direct competition with each other for freight business, such railroads would spare no expense to make their passenger trains as fast, luxurious, and affordable as possible, because it was considered to be the most effective way of advertising their profitable freight services.
Historically, on routes where a single railroad has had an undisputed monopoly, passenger service was as spartan and as expensive as the market and Interstate Commerce Commission regulation would bear, since such railroads had no need to advertise their freight services. . In fiscal year 2004, Amtrak routes served over 25 million passengers, a company record. The nationwide network of 22,000 miles of routes serves 500 communities in 46 of the United States, with some of the routes serving communities in Canada.
Amtrak employs over 19,000 people. Though Amtrak stock does not pay dividends and is not routinely traded, a small number of private investors have purchased Amtrak stock from its original owners. Some common stock is held by the private railroads that transferred their passenger service to Amtrak in 1971. The members of Amtrak's board of directors are appointed by the President of the United States, and are subject to confirmation by the United States Senate.
Nominally, Amtrak is an independent for-profit corporation, but all of its preferred stock is owned by the federal government. Officially known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, the name "Amtrak" is the blending of the words "American" and "track.". Amtrak, is the brand name of the intercity passenger train system created on May 1, 1971 in the United States. URL accessed on November 23, 2005..
^ Email FS - FY02.xls. URL accessed on November 23, 2005.. ^ Trains.com - Amtrak's Track. URL accessed on November 23, 2005..
^ Railway Age: Connex to take over Metrolink operations. Retrieved November 9, 2005. ^ Amtrak (November 9, 2005), Amtrak Board Releases Gunn. URL accessed on November 23, 2005..
Graham Claytor Jr.) (Fortune People) (column) @ HighBeam Research. (W. ^ Fortune : Still chugging. URL accessed on November 23, 2005..
^ RailNews Story: New Amtrak logo. URL accessed on November 23, 2005.. ^ GAO-06-145 Amtrak Management: Systemic Problems Require Actions to Improve Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Accountability. ISBN 0-937658-06-5..
Amtrak at Milepost 10, PTJ Publishing (Passenger Train Journal), Park Forest. (1981). Zimmermann, Karl R. ISBN 089024023X..
Journey to Amtrak - The year history rode the passenger train, Kalmbach Books, Milwaukee, WI. (1972). Edmonson, Harold A. ISBN 0-7603-1765-8..
Paul, MN. Amtrak, MBI Publishing Company, St. Solomon, Brian (2004). Amtrak financial reports.
Amtrak System Timetable, Fall 2004/Winter 2005. Post Road Branch - 12.42 miles (20 km), Post Road Junction to Rensselaer, New York (Lake Shore Limited). Chicago-Detroit Line - 4 miles (6 km) in Detroit, Michigan, CP Townline to CP West Detroit (Wolverine). Chicago-Detroit Line - 98 miles (158 km), Porter, Indiana to Kalamazoo, Michigan (Wolverine).
60.5 mi (97.4 km), New Haven to Springfield (Regional and Vermonter). 8.5 miles (13.8 km), Schenectady to Hoffmans, New York. 35.9 miles (57.8 km), Stuyvesant to Schenectady, New York (operated and maintained by Amtrak, but owned by CSX). 11 miles (18 km), New York Penn Station to Spuyten Duyvil, New York.
104 miles (167 km), Philadelphia to Harrisburg (Pennsylvanian and Keystone Service). 240 miles (386 km), New Rochelle, New York to Washington, D.C. 118.3 miles (190.4 km), Massachusetts/Rhode Island state line to New Haven, Connecticut. Boston to the Massachusetts/Rhode Island state line (operated and maintained by Amtrak but owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts).
Virginia Railway Express (VRE). Shore Line East (Connecticut). MARC (Maryland). San Diego Coaster (San Diego).
Sounder Commuter Rail (Seattle, Washington and the Puget Sound area). CalTrain (San Francisco and San Jose). Billings, Montana (pop 127K). Green Bay, Wisconsin (pop 230K).
Boise, Idaho (pop 430K) (also ended in 1997). Colorado Springs, Colorado (pop 500K). Tulsa, Oklahoma (#59 pop 800K). Dayton, Ohio (#53, pop 950K).
Louisville, Kentucky (#50, pop 1M). Nashville, Tennessee (#39, pop 1.3M). Columbus, Ohio (#33, pop 1.5M). Las Vegas, Nevada (#32, pop 1.6M) (lost service in the 1997 cuts).
Union Pacific Railroad. Southern Pacific Railroad. Seaboard Coast Line Railroad. Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad.
Penn Central Transportation. Northwestern Pacific Railroad (has never hosted Amtrak service). Norfolk and Western Railway (no Amtrak service until the Mountaineer began March 25, 1975). Missouri Pacific Railroad.
Louisville and Nashville Railroad. Illinois Central Railroad. Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad. Grand Trunk Western Railroad (no Amtrak service until the Blue Water Limited began September 15, 1974).
Delaware and Hudson Railway (no Amtrak service until the Adirondack began August 6, 1974). Chicago and North Western Railway (never had any service). Paul and Pacific Railroad. Chicago, Milwaukee, St.
Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. Central of Georgia Railway (has never hosted Amtrak service). Burlington Northern Railroad. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (no service until the West Virginian began September 8, 1971).
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Railroads who chose not to join the Amtrak system were required to continue operating their existing passenger service until 1975 and thenceforth had to pursue the customary Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) approval process for any discontinuance or alteration to the service. Any participating railroad was freed of the obligation to operate intercity passenger service after May 1, 1971, except for those services chosen by the Department of Transportation as part of a "basic system" of service and paid for by NRPC using its federal funds. The purchase price could be satisfied either by cash or rolling stock; in exchange, the railroads received Amtrak common stock.
Participating railroads bought into the new corporation using a formula based on their recent intercity passenger losses. Any railroad operating intercity passenger service could contract with the NRPC, thereby joining the national system.