Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Don’t fear the future

Some folks are just stuck in the past. Urban gridlock and endless airport lines tell the story. There is an alternative and it is making an impact in Europe. Associated Press reports the latest developments.

Eurostar, which runs trains from London to Paris and Brussels, said it already saw a 39 percent jump in the first three months of this year for sales of tickets that connect its services to French high-speed services that bring travelers to the Mediterranean and the Alps.

It said more corporate clients have been asking them to compare the carbon footprint of train and air travel and have calculated that their trains, on average, release 10 times less CO2 than flying. Eurostar is also aiming to make its trains carbon neutral, offsetting emissions that it can’t reduce.

The western European high-speed rail network already links 100 cities and 120 million people, from Paris to Berlin and London to Vienna, but many travelers are unaware that they can travel abroad by train — and many are unable to find information on rail links, prices and bookings outside their own country.

Railteam aims to change that — but slowly. From 2009, it plans to offer point-to-point tickets that could be bought over the Internet. Timetables will be sent by text message. If travelers miss a connection, their tickets will let them take the next available train.

It simply is not reasonable to say “it won’t work here.”

While rich and poor nations alike expand quality ground transportation, federal policy seems to be inching what little passenger train availability might exist in limited areas west of Philadelphia to extinction.

There is no reason the greatest nation on earth can not have a decent rational transportation system.

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Filed under: International High Speed Rail, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy

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