The Federal Railroad Administration is recommending an upgrade for Amtrak ("Upgrade Amtrak, agency urges," Dec. 28), but I'm suggesting another point of view. The article only reaffirms the stance I've taken as an observer and critic of this railroad passenger service for almost 30 years. Amtrak's performance for the citizens of the United States is way less than satisfactory.
Why? Reasons include their use of antiquated equipment, archaic trains, old-fashioned wiring systems, outdated tracks, ineffective security systems to combat a terrorist attack and the slow installation of automatic safety braking systems. In return for this service, Americans have been bilked for billions of dollars in taxpayer money.
In short, Amtrak is a colossal boondoggle. It's time for Amtrak, along with the Federal Railroad Administration, to go out of business. Let's see what the private sector can do for those who travel on track.
What citizens can do is contact their congressmen and senators to say no more funding for Amtrak. Enough is enough!
Ralph Jaffe, Baltimore