Feasibility: High. Southern held out
of Amtrak for almost eight years and was still able to run a top notch train
(Crescent). Meanwhile, the Seaboard Coast Line nearly stayed out of Amtrak so
it would make sense if the ACL and SAL had merged with other railroads instead
of each other, they would still be running trains today.
Feasibility: Moderate to high. If the
federal government had reduced the burdens it imposed on the railroads much
earlier, then, the U.S. would still have the world's best passenger rail
system. Of course, the side effect would be that no one would be talking about
high speed rail due to the efficiency of the networked rail system.
Also, the effort to provide a
national intercity rail system composed of nine major railroads would have the
support of the Bush 43 and Obama Administrations.
Feasibility: High. Both railroads
reluctantly joined Amtrak, but they could have easily have gone the other way.
If the Santa Fe and the SCL had joined the six holdouts, there's no doubt that
those two railroads would have continued operating trains to this day.
Amtrak would be a reduced entity
because of NS's push to mandate competition in the intercity passenger sector.
Section 214 of PRIIA and Amtrak's losses when it comes to bidding would have
likely been a campaign issue in 2016 with Republicans wondering whether if
Amtrak needs to exist at all when various host railroads and independent
operators are dominating the intercity rail market.
Feasibility: Low. As ideal as it
might have been, the Democrats were very firm in their opposition to giving
federal money to private railroads, so there wouldn't have been enough votes to
do anything but to nationalize the passenger trains.
Other rail modes: Low. Maglev is
expensive and would have been excluded from the 30/10 Plan. The Airtram idea
may have been scrapped just due to time. There was a limited amount of time for
the People Mover to have been built, and if no tracks had been laid down by
1981, then, it just wasn't going to happen. The Monorail may have been
built--only if the original subway system had already been in place. The
Carveyor was just an idea that was too futuristic.