But the railways’ monopoly in the overland travel market began to erode in the mid-twentieth century, as the road network was built and air transport grew in importance. In the 1960s, the railways were losing money on passenger trains and wanted to get out of the passenger transport business. The government was reluctant to let the railways give up passenger service, so in 1970 Congress created a quasi-public company called the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (later called Amtrak) to take over the management of passenger trains. on a lean national network. Many thought it was a half-hearted attempt to save the passenger train, and at least one Nixon official supported this theory when he said privately: “The point of this bill is to make sure that passenger service can be found at the back of the railroads, to spin the wheels. existing equipment, then put an end to passenger trains in that country. Amtrak would begin operations on May 1, 1971. In an effort to create a thinner network, many redundant, low-traffic passenger trains were permanently canceled.