Monday, April 24, 2006

Thinking About Easter and Passover

All right. We thought about this a week ago on Easter Sunday, but the idea is so striking that we are going to pursue it anyway.

The start of Amtrak in May 1971 was a type of Passover. We are not saying that the Amtrak Board got out there and smeared sheep's blood on the routes and equipment that they were keeping. But that's almost how it happened. What was left has wound up wandering in the desert ever since, and we don't know if 40 years will be enough. The commandments under which Amtrak operates are not etched in stone, but rather in disappearing ink on water soluble parchment.

Maybe Amtrak and Passenger Rail need a type of Easter. Maybe we need a wholesale resurrection of the passenger train where all sins are forgiven and the slate is wiped clean. Maybe Amtrak needs to start from scratch with a new contract with the government and with the freight railroads, with new equipment, and with a new outlook on what can and cannot be done with Passenger Rail.

We will probably go to railroad Hell for this one (on the left is Hell Gate Bridge), but the analogy seemed so apt.

© 2006 - C. A. Turek -

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