Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

McCain wants MORE trains (for other countries)

Now, it’s been well established that presidential candidate John McCain is not a fan of Amtrak. In fact, he’s called shutting the service down if he was elected a “non-negotiable issue.” Subsidies for highways? Fine. But not for passenger rail. You might think that this means he’s an anti-train kind of guy. But you’d be quite wrong. Infact, he’s all for making more trains, right here in America!  … Just so long as they get exported to other countries. Here’s an excerpt from this video of John McCain campaigning in Pennsylvania:

“I was with Governor [Tom] Ridge yesterday, and we visited a General Electric plant in Erie that makes — guess what? — locomotives. That’s not viewed as, quote, high tech, is it? But you’d be amazed at the product, of the thousands of workers that are working there and building a locomotive that over half of their business is through exports, because they build the best locomotives in the world in Erie, Pennsylvania.”

For one thing… locomotives? I know it’s a correct term technically, but doesn’t it give off the impression that he was surprised that these engines aren’t run on steam power or something? Maybe it never occurred to Mr. McCain that these high-tech locomotives, rather than being exported, could be put to use on our own railways. We could be making travel more accessible for Americans and saving energy with home-grown technology and workers.

It seems like John McCain has been trying to cast himself back as a moderate again, but it’s hard to take him seriously when his only transportation solution is to build more cars and more roads. All while countries such as the UK, Spain, and China are preparing for a more economically sound, environmentally friendly, and energy efficient future with passenger rail.

A bit hat tip to our friends at Streetsblog for this scoop.

Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Politics, , ,

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August 2008