Once again, a grade crossing accident delays the train. This time, at the grade crossing at Osuna Road in Albuquerque, which is north of the Amtrak station on the Raton Pass route of the old Santa Fe.
This just happened. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to note that this is a lightly traveled line and that the Southwest Chief is probably the fastest thing on it. People don't expect that zooming streamliner because more than half the people in Albuquerque probably don't know they have train service. Amtrak doesn't do its advertising job.
And New Mexico's Railrunner appears to be stalled in the starting gate. But it will be using the same line. A few grade crossing accidents with the new and sparse equipment, almost as sparse as Amtrak, will be fatal to the budget.
Passenger rail needs to be funded realistically by any government concerned. And there needs to be enough equipment to account for accidents (and maybe even to assist in major evacuations such as that going on as we write this in the Galveston and Houston areas.)
© 2005 C. A. Turek - email@example.com