Once again, Mica is using his “Soviet-style” analogy to describe Amtrak operations:
Mica railed against Amtrak’s “Soviet-style operations” and the money losses on food service aboard the trains and asked Smith if he should “go back and tell that mother [of the soldier not getting hot breakfasts], ‘You know, we need to put this money into Amtrak; we can’t take any cuts out of Amtrak.’”
Admittedly, I’m nitpicking over semantics — but if only Amtrak were as efficient as as the Soviet railways! The Soviet Union is widely regarded as having one of the best railway systems in the world. The Moscow Metro is the most heavily used rapid-transit system outside Asia. And the Soviet post-war era saw a gigantic expansion of the national rail network:
Soviet rail transport became, after the World War II, one of the most developed in the world, surpassing most of its First World counterparts. The Soviet railway system was growing in size, at a rate of 639 km a year from 1965 to 1980.
The efficiency of the railways improved over time, and by the 1980s Soviet railways had become the most intensively used in the world. Most Soviet citizens did not own private transport, and if they did, it was difficult to drive long distances due to the poor conditions of many roads.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the railway sector was privatized, and is now one of the biggest infrastructure companies in the world.