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Re: PC: RE: Re: Why no money?

> Thameslink Rail who operate commuter/suburban services in SE 
> England
> [Bedford-London-Brighton] actually make a profit NOW and pay the UK 
> government a
> premium for the 'privilege' of operating these services. Good 
> management, marketing and
> teamwork contributed to this situation...............unlike Penn 
> Central!

Penn Central might have made a profit on passenger service if the
government was covering non-operating costs. 

There are shortlines in the U.S. that make a profit because they are
running on government owned and maintained tracks. The government knows
they need the service (for jobs and taxes) but they also know that a
private operator cannot make a profit and cover the capital costs.

As I said before, railroads can cover operating costs from revenues
(tickets, mail, baggage, &c.). The Penn Central actually did pretty good
on this front. 

If you define profit only as revenues covering operating costs there are
several profitable passenger operations, such as Amtrak on the corridor.

What I'm referring to as profit is all revenues are greater than all
costs. NO railroad anywhere in the world makes enough money to cover ALL
capital costs associated with the passenger service. This was the wall
that Penn Central ran into. The operating costs were hurting them, but
capital spending was impossible.

This is not passenger train bashing. This is just the cold, hard facts of
life. Along these lines, just imagine what would happen to air travel if
tickets had to pay for the airports or if fuel taxes had to cover all of
the roads.

I'm going to let this topic drop on my end since it's getting a little
far from Penn Central. Just remember, unless you redefine what a profit
is there are no passenger operations that make a profit.

Bryan Turner

Amtrak in the South Email List - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/South_Wind
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