As I recall we ripped out all the passenger rail or sold it to the freight lines long, long ago. Outside of Amtrak (which has to give right-of-way to freight), and light rail, what infrastructure are you referring to?
As for subsidies, only in America do people think that rail should somehow magically "pay for itself"... the equivalent would be roads "paying for themselves", i.e., all toll roads, all the time. No one (outside of crazy libertarians) thinks that is a good idea. Basically, SOME sunk investment into transportation is necessary every year. Personally, I prefer more rail.
As an alternative, I would be ok with a pay-everything-as-you-go system that the libertarians want, IF we put policies in place to squeeze the income distribution into a much narrower range - say a factor of 100 total difference between richest and poorest. Otherwise, I don't see how such a system is anything but extremely unfair.