Pennsylvania is looking at a 100 million dollar bribe (see, there's another use for the 500 million spent on the racetrack) to restore a route for a second train, plus another 4-6 million to operate on a route that had a second train until 1995.
Need something else to wake you up? Since the Broadway was cut in 1995, the Three Rivers came and went. Meanwhile, The Heartland Flyer began in 1999, The Montrealer was cut but The Vermonter assumed its place in 1995, the Palmetto was cut and restored, The Downeasters began service in 2001, The Lynchburg service began in 2009, Norfolk service began in 2012, The Acela Express service debuted in 2001, effectively doubling service to New England, The San Joaquins and Michigan Services expanded.
Let's talk about the Ethan Allen. Vermont (spurred on by the Vermonter) added service to the area for the first time since 1953 in 1996. Vermont has proposed withdrawing funding for the train on a few occasions, but each time their efforts were rebuffed. Not only did they contribute, they teamed with Amtrak and New York to fund upgrades. As such, instead of cutting the train, they are funding an extension to Burlington. If this occurs, it will bring train service to an area that hasn't had trains since 1953!
So don't say there isn't more Amtrak. You just chose to ignore it since it doesn't pass through your backyard. Have you written your Congressman and asked them to eliminate the arbitrary 750 rule? Have you written your state to ask for the to press for more service to your state? Have you written Stephen Bloom and asked him if he intends to block restoration of a second train to PGH? Hell, representatives that are literally around the corner from the state capital are loath to support a train that could benefit them.
When service is reinstated and cut later then while it is a temporary gain the net result in the long run is none. The Palmetto? You think replacing a train that went to Florida with a train that stops in Savannah is a net gain? You think having the Vermonter replace the Montrealer is a net gain? Does the Heartland Flyer help anyone other than Oklahoma? Of course I am selfish but how many of you outside of the state of Oklahoma have even visited there? How many of you outside of the Northeast have visited Vermont? I will admit they have done good things in Michigan. Of course, Amtrak could reward them by giving them an LD train to get to the East Coast (or at least to Toledo like the Lake Cities) but no. The bottom line of what is "meaningful" to me is "how many people live there and how many people want to go there?", not "does it benefit Philly?" I hope they restart Gulf Coast service. I won't likely use it, but it is a link between Florida and New Orleans and even though it would still require an overnight stay would help Florida residents get closer to Texas/California and the other way around.
I don't mind Vermonter, Ethan Allen, Heartland Flyer, etc because while as you pointed out federal tax dollars do support state supported services, a large majority is state funded ("The Keystone Service and Pennsylvanian are financed primarily through funds made available by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.") You may be paying federal tax money towards the Pennsylvanian but unless you live in PA, you're not paying state taxes while I am. On the other hand, West Virginia residents pay ZERO state taxes on the Cardinal so all of us are paying the same federal taxes on the train even though WV benefits from it far more than the rest of us. So there is a big difference between state funded and federal funded service and it doesn't change the fact that if Pennsylvania stops funding the Pennsylvanian it goes away.
In the past, I have heard jjs say (without prompting from me) that he considered it a mistake to kill the BL and questioned Congress's intentions to kill it before it was killed. At least he gets it. Others still would like to see it back. My impression from you has been us in PA deserved to lose the BL and we should've done more to save it. Do you even care it's gone or care if it ever comes back? Do you even want the through cars implemented? You sound like you don't, in fact you sound like you're glad it's gone. If you're trying to change my selfish behavior, pitting the BL on us is only going to make me more selfish. You want me to care that some of you may lose your train, how many of you cared at all that we lost ours? How many of you have lost your #1 train like I have? Maybe if you did, you'd understand my behavior more.
As for contacting Congress/PA government, most contact from a single person goes in one ear and out the other. Even a few NARP campaigns have fallen on deaf ears. If I thought I could make a difference, I would. BTW, I did email Senator Casey and actually got a response back (although i am not sure it was him or one of his staffers).