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Interstate and intercity railroads should be publicly owned and operated

It is a well established point that building, maintenance, administration, and ownership of roads is best done primarily by the top governing authority, whether that be the local government, the state government, or the federal government, depending on the situation. Railroads present a nearly identical situation, and therefore railroads should be built, maintained, administered, and owned in a similar manner.
There are several great benefits to the arrangement of railroads being publicly owned and operated:
1)      The enforcement of safety standards would be much easier if the vast majority of train traffic would move over public railroads. An adequate amount of safety sensors could be installed without concern for short-term profitability. Also, public officials would have much easier access to inspecting the trains for safety violations.
2)     Investment in long-term efficiency and productivity of the railroads would be much easier without the business incentive for short-term profits. Specifically, public ownership would greatly hasten the transition from diesel locomotives to electric. Also, it would increase the incentives toward building more dual tracks to accommodate more traffic.  
3)     Public ownership would increase access to the rail network for smaller towns and businesses. Based on the profit motive, railroad companies are only incentivized to operate only the largest and most profitable transit lines. But with public ownership and operation, we could bring rail lines to more places, increasing the connectivity of people and commerce. In the long-term, this would increase national growth and efficiency.
4)      The public ownership of railroads would increase access to the rail network by other train companies, which would increase competition among them, leading to better service and reduced prices for customers and passengers.
5)      By having both the road and railroad transportation networks publicly owned and operated, but under separate administrations, this would increase their competitiveness with one another, subsequently making the entire transport infrastructure more resilient to fuel price changes, natural disasters, and geopolitical pressures.

For more information and perspective, we recommend the following videos:

How America's Largest Railroads are Ruining our Supply Chains

US Railroads should be Nationalized
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