Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

From Ohio, Obama on high-speed rail (again)

I don’t care if you all are getting tired of hearing that Obama is the rail candidate. I won’t go on again about what it all means.. this quote from a speech he gave yesterday in Youngstown, OH says its all:

At one point, asked about his support for high-speed rail, Obama lapsed into what was almost a comedy routine. All he needed was a fake brick wall behind him and a two-drink minimum.

“If you think about the Midwest, think about right here, what we’ve got is all kind of towns that we could connect,” Obama said. “All of these cities are, they basically take in the air about 45 minutes to an hour to fly.”

“But by the time you get to the airport,” Obama continued, “take off your shoes, get to the terminal, realize that your flight’s been delayed two hours, go pay $10 for a cup of coffee, and a sandwich for another $10, come back, you get on the plane, you’re sitting on the tarmac for another 25 minutes, you finally take off, you’re circling above the city for another half hour, when you land they can’t find your luggage, and then you get to where you’re going — by the time it’s all done it’s a five-hour trip! …So the time is right now for us to start thinking about high-speed rail as an alternative to air transportation, connecting all these cities and think about what a great project that would be in terms of rebuilding America.”



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7 Responses

  1. fpteditors says:

    Good stuff, and funny too. Keep it coming, Barack. And t4a, keep reporting. The regular readers will have to understand, we are trying to reach millions of people who just are not thinking and can fall prey to the drill-drill-drill drill.

  2. toast2042 says:

    Hopefully he’ll be able to find some money (and support in Congress) come January to actually do something about it.

  3. hesdjjim says:

    How does he plan to pay for all this? He already plans to raise taxes on those considered “wealthy,” plus he plans to double the capital gains tax, and he plans to impose a windfall profits tax on the big oil companies — which of course will be passed on to the consumer. So, gas prices will go through the roof, Wall Street trading will stagnate, and employers will have to restructure — meaning more layoffs, job cuts, pay cuts, and hiring freezes. When all is said and done, MAYBE we will have a national high-speed rail system in about 150 years.

  4. NikolasM says:

    Could you imagine the HSR network we could have here for one year of the Iraq scuffle? And it would actually have made a difference in energy independence as it could be powered from non oil sources…

  5. […] officially Barack Obama’s running mate for the November election… but although we know Obama’s position on rail, where does Biden stand? Our friend Robert Cruickshank over at the California High Speed Blog has […]

  6. Carl says:

    Real meaningful investment in HSR? I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Politicians are politicians. The airline industry has very strong lobbying influence over Republicans AND Democrats. They’ve been able to game hundreds of billions of dollars in bailouts and corporate welfare during the Bush AND Clinton years.

    I’m not voting for Obama today (not McCain either). They’re just politicians who will make promises to get elected, then when the airlines come a-knockin’ for more handouts, Obama will explain why it’s “necessary” to give them this kind of aid. He’ll probably blame Bush for not having enough economic resources to invest in high-speed-rail, and the massive deficits from the Iraq War provide a perfect scapegoat for why “we just don’t have the money for HSR”.

    So, don’t hold your breath.

    If, however, somehow, all this “change we can believe in” rhetoric does prove to be genuine, and Obama does promote real, large, meaningful investments in HSR, I’ll absolutely vote for him in 2012.

    But today, I’m not holding my breath.

  7. […] next year’s transportation bill be favorable to rail travel? I don’t think I need to articulate again the positions the candiates have taken on these issues. However, Streetsblog has a good […]

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August 2008


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