Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Christian Science Monitor makes sense

It usually does make sense, but the publication is in Boston. That means that CSM folks have an opportunity to use some of America’s finest trains. Sadly, most of the country is left with daily unreliable passenger trains – or no rail passenger whatsoever.

You probably realize that I live in Arkansas, so I don’t have a personal dog in the northeast corridor fight. It is a continual source of wonderment that congress does not come across with money to fix the bridges and tunnels. It’s an essential piece of interstate transportation.

Here is part of a fine editorial.

The Senate bill’s $10 billion package over six years would amount to an almost 40 percent increase in funding. It applies to operational expenses, maintenance, and infrastructure. The bill also addresses delays on long distance routes.

An additional $1.4 billion would be available as matching grants to states seeking more passenger train service within their borders.

It must be said, however, that even the Senate bill falls short – of funds (overdue upgrades to bridges and tunnels along the Northeast corridor alone will cost $5 billion), and more important, of strategic vision. Must America really be satisfied with just one high-speed rail service? Investment in the Acela and improved on-time performance tapped latent demand that surely exists elsewhere in the country.

The vision challenge extends across transportation sectors. Amtrak is finally getting a serious cash infusion, but its needs are no different from those of America’s bridges, highways, and airports.

Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy

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November 2007


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