Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Just another pipe dream

A particularly expensive, unworkable one at that.

People who insist we have a national high speed rail network are a lot like anti-gun people, they misunderstand what little they know. Paying passengers largely abandoned passenger rail service sixty years ago, and it was unprofitable before then, outside the dedicated tracks serving the densely populated DC-Boston corridor with its twelve million passengers a year riding about 2,200 trains a day. Most “high speed rail” elsewhere amounts to glorified trolleys running from a city to suburban towns.

We have a rail network configured for freight trains topping out at seventy miles an hour, so a high speed passenger system would have to be built from the ground up, including bridges, tunnels and separation from roads and highways. When contemplating this, remember, major destinations in Europe are only a few hundred miles apart. A straight line about 1,500 miles long gets you from London to Moscow. In the US it only gets you from Boston to mid-Kansas.

We made our choice when government built the interstate highway system and municipal airports while the railroads financed themselves, paid taxes and adhered to punitive regulations and labor laws, all with government mandated rate schedules. DC came to its senses at the last minute and realized the railroads were indispensable, collapsing and irreplaceable. The almost supernatural efficiency of steel wheels on steel rails saved them.

I’ve driven long distances and camped out by the tracks to witness the biggest free show on earth. I’ve ridden European high speed rail too. It’s impressive, classy and rightly envied. Passengers get a serene, rock steady ride while the scenery goes by like it’s coming out of a fire hose, as does the money to pay for it. And by the way, the “eminent domain” to get the necessary straightaways is all but incontestable in Europe, we’d employ every attorney in the country for decades before a mile of track was laid.

Another argument-against I saw somewhere or other recently had to do with the fact that, aside from the aforementioned DC-Boston corridor, most of the US is simply nowhere near dense enough population-wise to make the thing feasible. But hey, when did libtards ever let such trifling impediments as feasibility, practicality, and profitability stand in the way of a cherished pipe dream?

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1 thought on “Just another pipe dream

  1. Back in my days in the Corps when I was stationed out West I said to myself: ‘Self, why don’t we take a train home for leave and see some of this beautiful country’. That sounded great until researching the question showed the cost was 3x plane fare and took 3 days vs about 12h travel time by plane.

    But hey.. we don’t need no stinkin’ airplanes, right AOC?

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"To put it simply, the Left is the stupid and the insane, led by the evil. You can’t persuade the stupid or the insane and you had damn well better fight the evil." - Skeptic

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