Washington D.C. :Amtrak CEO Joseph H. Boardman surprised the world on Thursday by announcing that the publicly funded rail transport service is poised to have an operating train by as early as November of 2016. Should the group follow through on this promise it will be the first operational Amtrak train since August 27th, 2001, when the last train ground to a halt because of bearing issues just west of Sand Point, Idaho.
“It’s exciting. We’re really on track to do something significant here.” Boardman said with a grin. Officials say that cost estimates for the new train are relatively low, believing it should come in somewhere under $32 billion.
Although the lack of a passenger train has caused some issue for the service it hasn’t grounded operations entirely. Thrifty government workers have hired out empty cattle cars to transport passengers in some areas of the country, although research into requisitioning oil tankers has proved somewhat futile.
“It was a little different, but traveling by rail is a great experience, I will definitely do it again.” said Susan Linkley, 43, as she brushed dried chunks of manure from the hair of her daughter Joanna, age 7. Her husband Loyd complained of severe bruising in his shins caused from bouncing on the hard steel floor, but agreed that he would gladly take the trip again for the positive experience rail travel provides.