Though a nostalgic type myself, I recognize that the warm and fuzzy approach will not save the Pittsburgh to New York train. Facts will, however, and of those there is no shortage.
The 7:20 a.m. departure of this train to New York is an ideal time, as opposed to the middle of the night arrivals of the service to Chicago and Washington, D.C. Moreover, this morning train not only departs on time faithfully, but also has arrived in New York according to schedule every time I've used the service.
Yes, the trip can be slowed by the track-sharing arrangement with Norfolk Southern between here and Harrisburg, but this train almost always makes up for it and delivers its passengers in a timely fashion.
I flew to La Guardia recently and was amused by the process. You must arrive at the airport ridiculously in advance of the flight. Then, there was the endless circling (one hour the last time) over New Jersey before receiving landing clearance.
After landing, there was the cab ride to Manhattan (which took me through the Bronx because I didn't know any better) and consumed another hour.
Meanwhile, the Amtrak arrival takes me within two subway stops of my hotel at half the price. May I also point out that the train excursion was at half the stress level?
Passenger railroads can easily outperform other modes of transit given the chance. Funding should be a no-brainer.