What Amtrak really needs here is the ability to issues tickets completely electronically, or for the conductors' new hand-held units to be able to scan the bar-codes on the reservations and treat it as a paper ticket. But I don't see that happening soon, if only because it would take more investment, which requires more money, and the government priorities are set on wasting money on buddy contracts for hugely expensive porno-scanners that don't even really accomplish anything useful in the way of securing travel. This is known as "homeland security," and apparently it's nearly treasonous to even think of questioning any of it. But investing money in our train system is a horrible wasteful subsidy that much be stopped right away. Sigh.
Still, as a railroad enthusiast, I guess I should be happy at the Department of Homeland Security Theatre of the Absurd, in that they're making airline travel progressively more and more unpleasant and thus encouraging more people to take the train. That will be good until they decide that they need to start groping train passengers as well as airline travelers, for whatever specious reason they invent at the time that rings changes on, "Just cooperate, citizen, so you can Stay Safe."