The primaries are over and it is going to be, by God's grace forbidding any disaster, Barack Obama vs. John McCain.
If we were to vote today and base our vote solely on the political history of the two candidates, we are afraid - very afraid - we would have to vote Democrat!
Mister Trains has always had a habit of voting for the best man, so we are not convinced that Mr. Obama is the best man overall, just the best for Passenger Rail.
If you check out this blog: http://trains4america.wordpress.com/2008/05/03/obama-talks-up-high-speed-rail-amtrak/
You will understand that Mr. Obama has at least a rudimentary understanding of HSR and of why trains are more fuel efficient - greener if you will - than other modes of passenger transport.
Mr. McCain has a history of criticizing Amtrak, and has said at least once that a priority for him would be shutting it down. Does anyone doubt on this date, with oil jumping up $10 in one day and gas prices well over $4 in may parts of the country, that shutting down Amtrak would be a catastrophe from which our domestic transport system would not recover?
Yes, Mr. McCain was in a legislative position in which he had to see the worst of Amtrak's failures, but no, Mr. McCain, that is not the solution to this problem. Only if we follow the current trend and gradually move Passenger Rail back into the private sector will anything like this work. McCain's motto: Millions for highways but not a penny for Amtrak.
We are going to listen hard to both candidates for the next five months. We of course won't be able to avoid it and we will be praying for ear plugs by that time. But somewhere in those words is going to be the only hope of Passenger Rail, and by God if it is Obama then so be it.
© 2008 - C. A. Turek - firstname.lastname@example.org