At least in some places on the planet. Why can't KCS invest this kind of cash in the US?
First there would be the NIMBYs, although they are getting weaker as we talk. More and more people are realizing that good Passenger Rail service is a necessity, not a tourist attraction or a luxury.
Then there is the problem that our freight railroads are overloaded and none of them want to add the burden of Passenger Rail. In Panama, granted, it is for tourism, but they can squeeze it in even on the overburdened rail system. Why? Because the dollars are there.
Bottom line is that the railroad wants to make money for its stockholders. In fact, it must. We tend to forget that a corporation has a contractual and common law duty, called a fiduciary duty, to use any means possible to make money and not to squander the investments already in there.
But we get just a little worried when we hear of all the advancement in Passenger Rail systems worldwide, even in what we would consider Third World. Doesn't it make anyone just a little bit uncomfortable that, while the United States fritters away dollars and political capital on fruitless economic stimulus, much of the rest of the world has seen the light?
© 2008 - C. A. Turek - email@example.com