Saturday, January 16, 2010

Small Plans

This link (Amtrak Ready with Big Plans for 2010) shows up in todays news. It outlines what the author (or maybe the press release) sees as big plans.

First of all: Improvements on the Northeast Corridor. Reaction: What else is new?
Next: HSR incremental improvements. Everything else is still in the planning stage. Reaction: Nothing new here either.
Next: Station improvements. Reaction: Welcome!
Next: New locos and cars. Reaction: Still no plan. What trains get new equipment? Where does equipment go for new routes? Plans are apparently in limbo. This is too little too late.
Next: State partnerships. Reaction: Always good to get new trains off the ground. But can the cash-strapped states handle much of this? We'll see.
Next: PTC and general safety initiatives. Reaction: Safety good. PTC costly but necessary. Return on the PTC investment for Amtrak and rail in general only if it means increased train frequency.
Next and last: Security. Final reaction: Hope the security paranoids don't start up with airline-like security. That will discourage riders and negate the current round of humorous ads. (See previous blog.)

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