Last month the Pew Charitable Trust's SubsidyScope released a study of Amtrak subsidies. It made the news, and at the time I just shrugged it off as the kind of story that we'll have to put up with until (a) airline and private car subsidies come down enough to give trains the advantage or (b) Americans come to feel enough ownership of Amtrak to accept the subsidies the way they do airport and highway subsidies.
I also accepted the numbers, because I personally accept the need for Amtrak subsidies. Today, however, frequent commenter Bruce McF takes on the SubsidyScope numbers and shows that the work is a lot sloppier and less conclusive than I would have imagined from such a prestigious organization. No firm conclusions, other than that the subsidies are overstated.