Our host railroad grades are based on delays to passengers — and we’re grading on a curve. Providing Amtrak passengers preference over freight trains was part of the deal that created Amtrak and relieved freight railroads of the obligation to provide passenger services – and it’s the law. But too many freight railroads ignore the law. Imagine if air cargo carriers were responsible for air traffic control? Planeloads of travelers would be left circling above airports while cargo jets landed first unless there were effective regulatory mechanisms in place to protect passengers.