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Success Story? Twenty-Five Years Ago, Railroads Changed Forever, But the Debate Continues Over Whether the Staggers Act is a Success

WASHINGTON — On Oct. 14, 1980, the fate of American railroads changed. Congress passed the Staggers Act, legislation that deregulated the industry. But a quarter of a century later, the debate over the law rages on. By 1980, between a fifth and a third of the railroad industry was bankrupt, the byproduct of government regulation. An investor could have made more money putting money into the typical savings account than investing in the railroad industry. Maintenance was, to say the least, sub par and the rate of wrecks was skyrocketing. Despite the grim outlook of the railroad industry, it was

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A Brewing Battle: Poor Management Leads to Millions in Losses

WASHINGTON — Poor management controls of Amtrak’s food and beverage service lead to millions in losses annually, reports reveal. The Amtrak Inspector General (IG) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO), at a recent Congressional hearing, outlined their separate reviews of Amtrak’s food and beverage service and the substantial losses incurred by Amtrak due to poor management. According to the IG’s review, Amtrak’s food and beverage operations lose up to $150 million each year. The IG figures do not incorporate losses resulting from theft, which were discussed in the hearing as being significant. The GAO review found that for every dollar

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Traffic Booming on Historic ‘Stormy’

Railroaders call it the “Stormy” for its wild summer thunderstorms. Historians call it the Sunset Route. It has become a vital link handling booming traffic, and to address this growth, the 760-mile Union Pacific corridor between Los Angeles and El Paso is in the midst of an on-going effort to add capacity.