people like me probably have a slight affinity for rail because it’s a kind of socially provided good. But I don’t think it’s comparably irrational: rail just makes a lot of sense for densely populated regions, especially but not only the Northeast Corridor. New York could not function at all without commuter rail, and Amtrak even as it is is crucial to intercity traffic - it’s not just a question of expanding airport capacity, we just don’t have the airspace.

From Railing Against Rail

One thing I’ve never understood is why the GOP loves ear-mark driven national highways but insists that rail be a profit making venture. Other than historic accidents, why do we have socialist roads and capitalist trains?