Mark Stencel has a column in CQ Weekly well worth your read, even if he does start off recounting the poor ratings performance of the NBC TV network bomb of all time “Supertrain.” Come on, Mark, give us a break over here!
He further observes, accurately, the failure of all efforts to improve rail transportation in the United States of America. Stencel’s political observations are quite on target. To sustain transportation improvements demands long term thinking and cooperation.
Well, it was nice while it lasted.
He makes a point, and this is going to be a long hard fight. Considering a recent GAO report, one wonders how they do it “over there.”
Given the challenges, how do Asian and European countries pay for their high-speed trains? The GAO found that fast rail systems in France, Spain and Japan are generating sufficient passenger revenue to cover ongoing expenses but not the cost of building the systems in the first place — an expense officials in those countries justify for environmental or other societal reasons. “In the countries we visited, the central government generally funds the majority of up-front costs . . . without the expectation that their investment will be recouped through ticket revenues,” the agency’s report said.
UPDATE: Mark Stencel is a good guy. He kindly mentioned my post and we have Tweeted. He is on Twitter @markstencel