Ben Jones, CNN • Published 1st May 2021
(CNN) — Created in 1971 from the creaking remains of the classic US railroads that helped build modern America, Amtrak has often lived a precarious existence.
Subject to the whims of politicians in Washington D.C. and constantly under pressure from the well-funded and hugely influential oil, automotive and airline industry lobbies, the national passenger rail operator has been threatened with oblivion on several occasions.
But as it celebrates a 50th anniversary that few would have been brave enough to predict, there are signs that Amtrak’s moment may finally have arrived. The United States remains firmly wedded to the automobile and the sheer size of the nation means that air travel is often the only option for long-distance journeys.