Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Fast trains for North Carolina

The Winston-Salem Journal posted an excellent editorial that catches the possibilities of sensible ground transportation. Honestly, if it works between Paris and London, if can work between Charlotte and Atlanta.

Fast Trains

Winston-Salem Journal

Friday, October 26, 2007

With the state short $65 billion for transportation needs over coming decades, the next governor and future legislatures should be thinking outside the usual basket of ideas – in short, beyond roads. At a recent statewide rail conference, transportation leaders again discussed a federal-state-private initiative to bring high-speed rail to the Southeast.

Some doubt the future of passenger rail service, saying it can’t survive without tax subsidies. But streets, roads and highways don’t stand on their own, either. Transportation has been subsidized by government in this country for 200 years, and providing transportation infrastructure is a basic role of modern government.

Rail traffic today is low for a simple reason: The product is not very good. If government and private industry were to improve equipment, rail beds and corridors so traffic moved more swiftly and dependably, people would soon see the value and switch. It works in Europe and in our heavily populated Northeast.

The discussion involves service from Washington, through North Carolina cities, and down to Atlanta. This will work, and it will work for Forsyth County if arrangements are made to include Forsyth in the plan. Nancy Dunn, the local representative on the N.C. Board of Transportation and chairwoman of the committee that oversees rail initiatives, is optimistic that improvements are coming.

When trains leave on time, move at 100 mph and get people to and from major cities without the hassle of airports or interstate traffic jams, the passengers will start riding.

Filed under: Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, Regional USA Passenger Rail

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October 2007


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