Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

An introduction from cold, cold Minnesota

Hey everyone, my name is Logan Nash, and I’m one of the new contributors to Trains for America. I’m originally from Knoxville, TN, but I’m currently attending Carleton College in Northfield, MN (about 30 miles south of the Twin Cities).

My love affair with rail transit began as a young child, getting lost on the London Underground with my father during a family vacation. Being able to get around that city (and indeed, country) without an automobile blew my fragile suburban mind. I’ve been something of a student of public transportation ever since.

I’m excited to be working with Pat on Trains for America, and I hope I can live up to his work so far.

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Filed under: Administration

Help Wanted – UPDATE

Despite my shameful neglect, this blog continues to have readers. Trans for America is jsut too good to die.

I am working three jobs, and a couple of projects on the side. I have been unable to give this site the attention it deserves. Therefore, I am seeking an individual (individuals?) to assist in editing and writing this blog. A few of the qualifications are:

  • some journalistic flair. That means writing ability. Reasonably good spelling and punctuation and a basic understanding of libel/slander and copyright issues.
  • some understanding of modern passenger railroading. This site tends to favor corridors and high speed projects, but we are hardly ever against long distance trains. We carry reports from Europe and other international sources. The purpose is to highlight how badly the USA lags on transportation policy.
  • able to use historic example without drifting into nostalgia.
  • not overly visible on rail fan sites.
  • willing to contribute using your real name, and provide some biographical information for public disclosure.
  • willing to regularly update site for NO COMPENSATION (other than the solemn pride of a job well done!

If you are interested, drop me a line. The link to my email is in the right hand column. Do not put your application. in “Comments.”

UPDATE – There is some very good news coming soon. There will be two new contributors coming to the TFA blog. They live in different regions, so this is quite exciting. One is in Florida and the other in Minnesota. Both have traveled and possess a perspective beyond the local issues. I will continue in the role of Grand Exalted Potentate and Seer of all True Wisdom.

I would welcome an application from an interested individual on the west coast. That would give this forum a true “national” feel that I think would be very beneficial.

This is bad news for airline  truckers and the other special interest groups who have worked tenaciously to kill ground transportation in America.

Thanks to our many readers!

Pat Lynch

Filed under: Administration

The mailbag

Thanks for the great response. Your letters are very gratifying and don’t be afraid to post comments here. Contrary opinions are always invited and I do appreciate different perspectives. My way is not the only way.

No personal attacks. I won’t put up with it.

One of my most respected correspondents had a rather sharp reaction that demands comment.

On the other hand, that is one of my harshest criticisms of the railfan types who have no shortage of opinions…. they haven’t been on a damn train since 1979, but they can give you the full lecture on passenger demographics, travel patterns, demand or lack thereof, etc. Most of that hot air discussion is without merit.

Good point. I am now looking for positive Amtrak experiences. Drop me a line plynch@swbell.net. I promise to highlight them here.

More than one of you have mentioned the tension between long distance service and corridors. I may have caused some confusion in my post about capital needs.

Specifically, I listed eight “corridors” served by the Sunset. By no means am I suggesting to bastardize this train into a bunch of non-connecting daylight trains. My point is that killing the Sunset Limited destroys the only passenger rail service on at least 8 important city pairs.

This has become such a hot button issue because those of us who support sensible ground transportation are used to fighting over crumbs. Our system should never have been allowed to deteriorate to the deplorable level that exists today. Both overnight and daylight short-haul trains are necessary parts of a national operation.

Or, that’s what I think. What say you?

Filed under: Administration, Amtrak

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