Who Saved the Passenger Train? The Role of Public Advocacy in Amtrak's Creation: 1958 to 1971
It was April 28th 1965, and the ballroom of the Biltmore Hotel in New York City was filled to capacity. Outside, successful stockbrokers and other well-dressed figures walked down the sidewalk in an orderly fashion holding picket signs reading “there is no other alternative.” Inside, over the chattering of the crowd, a commissioner demanded silence and announced the next witness. A lawyer rose from his small table opposite the make-shift witness stand and began asking questions. However, this was no trial. Instead, it was a regulatory hearing pertaining to a railroad’s attempt to discontinue a portion of its New York City commuter rail service.