Monday, July 17, 2006

The Rail Runner Starts Up

We had planned a blog about Amtrak and car supply that was triggered by an email from blog reader Chuck Merckel of Livonia, MI. Rest assured, we will post our comments about Amtrak's car supply with a coming post.

Today, we have to announce our thrill that Rail Runner, the commuter rail service for New Mexico and particularly Albuquerque and (eventually) Santa Fe has started up. The Friday, July 14 start was about nine months later than the originally planned October 2005 startup, but was also only two years after the idea was first put before the public by Gov. Bill Richardson and the Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments. That's a quick startup by any measure, and a commendable one.

Never mind that the train is only running from Albuquerque to Bernalillo (NM 550) and back, and never mind that it will run for free for three months. Local newspapers and television stations report that riders loved it.

As there are so many adults who were born post-Amtrak Day and who never had a chance to ride on short, inter-city hops such as Albuquerque to Las Cruces or El Paso and/or Albuquerque to Santa Fe, the education of these riders is going to require some love of the train ride.

By the way, we just returned from a weekend and Las Cruces, NM, and we took a few pics of the old Santa Fe depot there. This is where the doodlebugs from Albuquerque would have stopped. It is nicely restored and we will post one of the pics on the blog.

Also, glad to see that some of our readers are starting to read with enough interest to start disagreeing with us. (See comments on recent post about the budget and politics.) Please disagree all you want. We will let you know if we disagree with your disagreement. If you really want to argue, give us specifics and references or links to references. We will push back other subjects to clarify any topic, if there is enough interest. Please don't start with liberal political talking points, however. We can get enough of that in the Old Media. So we hope that Anonymous wasn't just trying to let our readers know that he/she thinks Mr. Bush is doing something unconstitutional.

Happy train riding!

© 2006 - C. A. Turek - mistertrains@gmail.com
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