Despite the fact that when Amtrak was founded in 1971 it was predicted to be running in the black by the third year, it has run at a loss EVERY year since its inception. Passenger rail lines gave up the ghost for lack of demand leaving it up to the government to continue the service at its own risk. They had already had enough.
Congress, always ready to start a new government program (after all, it will only need subsidizing 2 or 3 years til it becomes self-sustaining), eagerly stepped up to the plate expecting a home run. What happened after that was quite predictable. If the free-market solution had chosen to leave the playing field, what made the politicians think that their new pet project was exempt from market forces? Without sufficient demand one simply cannot make a profit.
And now there are those in congress demanding we pour even more tax dollars into this ongoing money pit. Wake up congress! Shut down Amtrak and let it rest in peace!