Mark Stencel, quoted here previously from CQ Weekly, writes an excellent blog, Assignment: Future, dealing with future trends. You must read his entire entry concerning HSR and this blog. I am humbled and complimented to be so kindly treated by such an excellent source and highly qualified commentator.
We have had quite a bit of fun with the super-flop of NBC TV so many years ago, Super Train. Mark has links to the first episode and a proposal that it has become a parody of our national transportation policy discussion.
In the opening scene, a blustery, gray-bearded executive — played by character actor Keenan Wynn — explains that he has the backing of the federal Transportation Department to quickly build a new “atom-powered, steam-turbine” train “capable of crossing this country in 36 hours.”
The executive’s cigar-chomping board of directors is skeptical, if not hostile. “I think you are letting your psychotic fascination with railroads lead you into a suicidal gamble with the future of this company,” one board member says.
Funny enough, this opening exchange pretty well sums up most of the public policy arguments about high-speed rail in this country, both before and since Supertrain’s short, nine-episode run on network TV.
Stencel mixes in a quote from the “About” section of this blog and confers as fine a compliment as I could have ever asked.