Taken the train across Missouri lately? Of course you haven’t. The notoriously unreliable Amtrak service in the Show Me State is legendary for delays, missed stops, and general frustration. But wait! According to a glowing piece in the Star today, it’s time for you to give Amtrak another chance — because Amtrak is back, sort of. Well, maybe not so much “back” as “back to mediocrity,” because that’s all Amtrak can offer you. That’s right: the subject of this fawning story is the return to… what Amtrak was supposed to be doing anyway. Namely, being on time. Um, bravo?
Amtrak trains between Kansas City and St. Louis are running on time more frequently this year than they have since October 2006.
They have been on schedule more than 90 percent of the time, compared with years when 70 percent might be considered good on-time performance.
“The time has been much, much better,” said Amtrak rider Shelia Wright from Kansas City. “I can live with an occasional delay, but when it happens on every trip it’s pretty disturbing.”
Okay. So we’re trumpeting the crossing of the 70 percent barrier? A rather sad commentary, it seems, when we’re giving credit to transportation companies for achieving what should have been the standard all along. This could work for a whole advertising campaign, maybe. “Amtrak: now with fewer car derailments!” or “Amtrak: 28 percent fewer missing track sections.”