I would agree with Jis broadly, but I do think there are five counter-points: (1) The National System has wound up being a bit too thin. There's a strong case that there are several routes that should be added (the Pioneer, Sunset East, and a few other routes come to mind...most of which were cut in the 1990s or early 2000s). (2) There are some routes wherein the addition of said route would likely be an incremental improvement to Amtrak. Some expansion of the Florida service is a good example; so, too, would be expansions of service within Virginia. This might be mainly an east coast phenomenon, but it still stands as something worthy of note. (3) Trying to get multiple states to coordinate on a project runs the same risks that trying to get multiple towns to cooperate on the Hoosier State runs: If one pulls out a project may become tricky, if not impossible, unless another state is willing to pick up the slack. For example, while it might be concievable that NY, PA, and IL might cooperate on some sort of expansion of east-west service, either IN and OH would need to get on board or the others would have to pick up the cost. Same thing with additional service to Florida: South Carolina and Georgia stand in the way in many respects. Getting one or two states on a project is one thing; trying to get more than that is likely to be a major issue. (4) There's a difference between having to "pay something" (which I believe that all of the states that currently have corridor trains, save for IN, were prior to PRIIA 209) and having to pick up the full tab...especially in the face of probable intransigence from other states. There's also the issue of states not even being able to clearly get help with starting up a service, and without federal grants to kickstart things, the Heartland Flyer and (if I'm not mistaken) Lynchburger would not exist today. (5) Finally, there's the issue that a lot of the losses out there are down to chronic, decades-long equipment shortfalls. Amtrak has been incessantly short on equipment, and in the case of the eastern states there has been no opportunity put in front of them to actually get their own equipment and no attempt to organize or fund anything like that. Thus where in a few years most states west of the Appalachians will likely only be paying equipment charges on their locomotives (if on that) while running fleets of new cars mostly paid for with federal money, those on the extended NEC will be stuck paying Amtrak to use 40-year-old Amfleets out of their operating budgets.