Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group


What Went Wrong and What to Do About America's Passenger Trains

Joseph Vranich

St. Martin's Press




America needs train service. It suffers from crowded highways and airports, making travel nearly intolerable. Amtrak's future is bleak, and Congress is demanding that Amtrak be profitable by the turn of the century or shut down.

Joseph Vranich, who worked to create Amtrak, now nearly three decades later declares it a "failed experiment." Free of his ties to the rail industry today, he candidly reviews Amtrak's troubled history, its loss of market share, and its ability to provide better and faster service. Vranich reveals how Amtrak trains on most routes are not only slower than American trains were fifty years ago but are also slower than some trains found today in the Third World.

Vranich argues for passenger trains where and when they are needed. He praises innovative commuter rail agencies, high-speed train planners, and long-distance "land-cruise" trains run by independent organizations. He also offers insights from other countries, pointing the way to a successful rail system in the United States. This is a blueprint to defederalize and liquidate Amtrak-- a bold and convincing call to kill a wasteful government system. Vranich shows how to smartly dissolve Amtrak while keeping vital trains running in the twenty-first century.



Riding Amtrak: An Adventure
"Twenty-five years after I set out to save the American passenger train, I feel personally embarrassed over what I helped to create."
--Anthony Haswell, founder, National Association...


Praise for Derailed

“Amtrak is a cruel disappointment. Derailed shows the way to the kinds of passenger trains that will make sense in the twenty-first century.” —Anthony Haswell, founder of the National Association of Railroad Passengers

“Is there a future for rail passenger service beyond Amtrak's interminable history of mediocrity and disappointment? Yes, Vranich reassures us, but only of-- along with Amtrak-- we dump our self-serving myths. Finally a book that is hard-hitting, courageous, and chock full of new ideas.” —Alfred Runte, author of Trains of Discovery: Western Railroads and the National Parks

“At last, the dismal truth about Amtrak from a passenger-rail insider, along with a workable plan for its replacement. Vranich's book is required reading for everyone concerned with the future of U.S. transportation.” —Robert W. Poole, Jr., president of the Reason Foundation

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Joseph Vranich

Joseph Vranich has served as the president of the High Speed Rail Association, as an Amtrak Public Affairs spokesperson, and as executive director of the National Association of Railroad Passengers. His previous book, Supertrains, was praised by President Clinton and quoted in Senate debate. He lives in Southern California.

Joseph Vranich

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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