By Rich Zeoli
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Ed Rendell pointed to infrastructure failures and government bureaucracy for inefficiencies with Amtrak following a train derailment earlier this month that killed eight passengers.READ MORE: Philadelphia Weather: Blast Of Frigid Air Makes Parts Of Region Colder Than Alaska
Rendell told Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that the lack of straight line train tracks are dangerous and slow down train travel.
“We have too many tracks that are curved in the entire Washington to Boston line and we have been telling people that for decades now. The Acela is a fairly high-speed train. It can reach 150 mph on straightaways, but there are so few straightaways on the Acela line from Washington to Boston that it averages 80 mph. Sixty years ago we had a train that averaged 70 mph. Curves are essentially dangerous. You can’t have high speed on curves. Curves should be done away with. We should have a dedicated line for high-speed passenger rail.”READ MORE: Bucks County DJ Service Raises Money To Buy Smoke Detectors For Local Families
He said private dollars are needed to make the service faster and economical.
“I’m all for a public/private partnership. No offense to Amtrak. Amtrak, under the circumstances, does a pretty decent job. But the only way we’re going to build a dedicated track from Washington to Boston is with the private sector playing a significant role.”
Rendell also criticized Congress for forcing Amtrak to run lines outside the Northeast corridor that lose money year after year.MORE NEWS: Sabres Win 6-3, Hand Flyers 11th Straight Loss
“Congress forces Amtrak to keep those lines in operation, even though there are very few passengers. They force them for political reasons. It has to stop. Amtrak should be run as a business or we should have Amtrak step aside and let the private sector work with the government in building some of these lines.”