Monday, November 12, 2012

There's Always Somebody

At the risk of using a bit of awkward English in my title, I couldn't find better words to express a phenomenon that we see in America that happens every time a business or organization appears to be down for the count.

In the case of Passenger Rail, it's taken long enough.  Virtually from the inception of Amtrak, I have hoped for somebody who can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, and who might just put Passenger Rail in America back on the right track.  (I'm just full of them - these railroad cliche metaphors.)  I'd even gotten to the point where, about when I started this blog, I was willing to state as a conclusive fact that nobody will ever make money running passenger trains.

I hope two ventures prove me wrong.  The first is that made by FEC (aka Florida East Coast Industries) to run passenger trains from south Florida to Orlando.  See All Aboard Florida.  These guys have scads of money to spend, and aren't going to do it without the hope of making more in the process.

The second is the reanimation of the rail route from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in the new and improved format of HSR.  XpressWest and Las Vegas Railway Express, Inc. have competing visions of what this service could or should be.  Given the enormous investment needed for a brand new HSR route for most of the way, I'd sat that LVRE's incremental, one-at-a-time train-on approach is the most likely to succeed.  XpressWest may require a huge capital infusion from government to get theirs off the drawing board.

But in either case, the American optimist is quite alive and well and looking at ways that, even in our down economy, Passenger Rail could make some money for some and provide a huge dose of transportation service and pleasure for many.

I am Mister Trains.

©2012 - C. A. Turek - mistertrains@gmail.com

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