According to the November issue of Trains Magazine (not on the web afaik):
[T]wo key players …on the Amtrak board, Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo and Amtrak president Joseph Boardman, cannot have any contact or even be in the same room together for one year due to federal ethics rules, because Boardman was the previous FRA administrator.
Couldn’t they just hire a lobbyist, or maybe get one of BHO’s Chicago buddies, to contrive a way around the ethics laws?
Real estate developer Jimmy Gierczyk spent $1.5 million to build a New Buffalo station for Amtrak. It’s adjacent to his real estate development. The source article doesn’t give a lot of detail about the project, but notes that he can now more easily market his condos to Chicagoans. Who are accustomed to paying much higher prices than folks in New Buffalo, I’d guess.
All of which raises the question, why can’t Amtrak collect more of the location value it generates or preserves?