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There is something about Amtrak — perhaps the romance of railroads or the promise of relieving traffic congestion and economizing on oil and greenhouse gas emissions — that causes otherwise sensible people to lose contact with reality.

The reality is that Amtrak is a waste of taxpayers’ money and has been since its creation in 1970. It doesn’t significantly reduce congestion, fuel use or greenhouse gases. Amtrak is too small to have any appreciable effect in these areas.

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