A government boondoggle


Coverage of the Amtrak derailment in articles such as the “Death toll in Amtrak derailment rises to 8,” (5-51-15) brings to the foreground a major problem with Amtrak which needs to be addressed - that is lack of security on the trains. Yes - it’s true outdated trains and equipment can account for train disasters. However, of even more concern is Amtrak’s failure to protect its passengers from possible terrorist attacks. For example, there are no security guards on board the Amtrak trains. Because of this lack of proper safety protection of their passengers, attacks are like waiting in the wings to happen.


In the early 1990’s, I contacted my Congressman, Ben Cardin, to express my concerns regarding this lack of safety protection. To his credit, Congressman Cardin was able to get some additional funds allocated for dealing with this danger. Unfortunately today, Senator Cardin has become another victim of the adage, power does corrupt. More importantly though, no serious attempts by Amtrak have been made to address the issue of public safety/security on the trains. The billions of dollars from taxpayers’ money spent on Amtrak personifies the point of pouring good money into bad programs. I repeat, no security guards are on board Amtrak trains.


What needs to be done is for Amtrak to go out of business and let the private sector take over. Amtrak is another government boondoggle. And that’s the truth.


Ralph Jaffe, Teacher