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The legal status of Amtrak is tricky and it gives rise to complicated litigation.

See a featured discussion at SCOTUSBlog.

click here

Here's one quick quote from that discussion:

Friday’s ruling did not directly disturb the role of Amtrak as the sole operator of the nation’s passenger train — a duty given to it by Congress when the for-profit corporation was first created in 1970.  But the decision did find invalid key parts of Amtrak’s powers that Congress gave it in a new law in 2008.
A key facet of the new decision was that, although Amtrak is a part of the government (as the Supreme Court ruled in March 2015), it also operates as the private, for-profit firm that competes with freight railroads for the use of the same tracks.  Congress dictated that Amtrak get first priority in the use of those lines, to help assure that passenger trains run on time as often as possible.
Gee, doesn't that make it both umpire and player in the same game?
Exactly. You have become wise grasshopper. Now, try to snatch this pebble from my hand.


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