Got the news today that Amtrak named a new CEO, Joseph Boardman. It seems like he has rail experience but much of it recently has been with the Federal Railroad Administration. They haven't been too accommodating or friendly to passenger rail lately, especially light rail lines that run next to freight. They have also been averse to DMU commuter lines such as in Austin.
Much has been written about this and I'll refer you to this article by Light Rail Now! on the FRA's past and current issues with passenger rail. All first impressions lead me to believe that Boardman will be good, but we'll know when we get there. Perhaps the Kerry bill will push folks forward as well.