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In Transit: Amtrak's Future In California

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Amtrak Pacific Surfliner Train Running along Los Angeles River. (Laser1987 via Getty Images)

Amtrak reports that overall demand for passenger rail is soaring as yearly ridership totals approach pre-pandemic levels. But in California, the story is different. Popular west coast lines are losing riders and remain challenged by underinvestment and rules that give track priority to freight trains. In addition, increasingly powerful storms and rising seas threaten Amtrak’s infrastructure: Southern California’s Pacific Surfliner has repeatedly suspended service for emergency repairs. As part of Forum’s In Transit series, we look at the future of Amtrak in California.

Guests:

Ethan Elkind, director of the Climate Program at the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment, UC Berkeley School of Law; host, the Climate Break podcast

Tom Zoellner, English professor, Chapman University; editor-at-large, LA Review of Books; author, "Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World -from the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief"

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