Sunday, February 18, 2007

Mister Trains to States: Put Your Money Where Your Tracks Are

We pray that the Illinois experience holds true. (See this article.) If, indeed, it does, this is just more proof that the transportation user (taxpayer) wants and will use good Passenger Rail transportation if given the chance.

The Illinois example is clear and easy to follow. The rail routes must make sense. (Bill Richardson please listen.) The service must be convenient and timely, and the trains must not be what a C & O railroad president once described as "rolling tenements."

To make sense, the routes are just commuter rail unless the endpoint cities are big enough, have desirable destinations, and have a demographic that understands what public transportation is about.

To be convenient, the service must have station start, stop and endpoint times that the majority of users what to use, and the stations must be located in desirable areas with good public feeders and/or park and ride facilities.

To be timely, the schedules must be followed and the operating railroads must not be willing to prioritize freight over passenger. Amtrak can't do this in most areas.

To be more than rolling tenements, the trains should be new, not refurbished, and certainly not Amtrak hand-me-downs.

We are still studying the newly designated route for the New Mexico Rail Runner, and will have further comments at a later date.

© 2007 - C. A. Turek -
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