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> If the US made any sense, this would be a public works infrastructure project rather than private enterprise.

No thank you. My Verizon plan is expensive, but it works pretty damn well, unlike most of the public services here. My wife and I took Amtrak every day between Wilmington-Baltimore and Baltimore-DC for about two years. It was regularly late (often very late). Trains broke down in-between Wilmington and Baltimore regularly, and my wife would be stuck in the train for hours waiting for a replacement engine to arrive. Many of the tunnels along the route are decades past their design life.

Before that, I lived in Chicago, where ancient lead water pipes poison kids. Before that I lived in Atlanta, where ancient sewer systems dump untreated sewage into the river whenever it rains. I also lived in Wilmington, DE, where bus drivers would just randomly decide to end their route 15-30 minutes early. Now I live in D.C., and even though I'm within 0.3 miles of a metro station both at work and at home, I take Uber because Metro trains keep breaking down and/or catching on fire.

I'm not a libertarian nutjob, but I don't want the government running my cell service. Our roads are awful (I just came back from Munich), our transit is awful, etc. There are a tiny handful of competent public infrastructure organizations in the country (e.g. New York's water system, Metro North), but most are a disaster. Verizon may be evil, but unlike say WMATA it doesn't have to regularly shut down major sections of its network because it spent decades neglecting its infrastructure.

Amtrak does not work not because it's a public service. Many railways in Europe are public and the work great.

Many public services in Europe work great. But I'm talking about the US.

Amtrak being late wasn't entirely their fault, The railroads that owned the tracks often delayed the passenger service giving preference to their freight service. They got dinged for that not too long ago.

Wilmington to DC is northeast corridor, which is all owned by Amtrak. That's why delays are usually only tens of minutes rather than hours (except when equipment breaks down and the delay is hours).

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