- Mar 10, 2009
Those who argue that maintaining long-distance rail is too expensive, compared to airports, neglect the synergy between long-distance passenger rail and long-distance freight rail. The rails undergirding the LD routes will still be maintained even if Amtrak disappears. Witness the problem in CO/NM when that isn't true and a heroic rescue is required to maintain the SW Chief. IF Congress, the courts, and Amtrak management can cooperate to enforce the principle of passenger train priority, then this synergy can continue.I'm not sure if all the people who get stuck in the traffic jams and confusing highways around airports would agree ... have you ever tried to navigate the roads around MCO without ending up going to the wrong place at least once?
Setting that aside ... maybe, in your opinion, rail is not needed (odd coming from someone on a train riding forum) but that is not the general consensus of all people - especially those on this forum.
Somehow, I doubt you will convince many on this forum that "Air is simply the best method we have to combat the traffic congestion problem" ...
As for the Interstate system:
And the costs go up each year as prices rise.
It is true that some freight lines maintain their rails poorly, making higher-speed passenger trains impossible ... sometimes making even "regular speed" passenger trains impossible. The old Wabash, on the other hand, used to advertise their higher-speed freights (higher than other lines), and maybe the economies of minding a shipment for only 12 hours (at 60 MPH) rather than 24 hours (at 30 MPH) will prevail on freight lines.