Here is a story from today’s New York Times.
I have not posted here much lately and that is because of a general sense that it is a complete waste of time. Consider that
- the Amtrak station in a major city (Oklahoma City) is closed because the State apparently fails to pay rent,
- Amtrak adds 30 minutes to what should be the fastest transcontinental train because the “host” road will not maintain trackage to 79 mph and Amtrak is unable to pay for the work,
- Amtrak proposes to expand a major transcontinental train to daily service (perhaps adding 100,000 additional passengers) but a local town objects to the location of the train stop and the “host” railroad demands $750,000,000 (not makin’ this stuff up) to “improve” the right-of-way already in use for a thrice weekly passenger train.
Although there is substantial evidence to suggest that a majority of Americans would like to see improvements and modernization in the national transportation system (note that I did not suggest widespread approval of every proposed project), high speed rail and a sensible expansion of Amtrak service is a political non-starter. The only transportation funding that will be allowed in the United States will go to enrich a handful of consultants who write meaningless reports. This country is under the thumb of corporate interests and a few billionaires, and it is about to get a lot worse. I could go on forever, but here is the story.