Those of us who would see Passenger Rail grow and prosper in America have been burned before.
I can understand mainstream media getting excited. There is too much news media and not enough content, so every gurgle that issues from the mind or mouth of a politician gets reported. In the fashion of the "new journalism," the enthusiasm of the journalist, or the disdain, shows through on the page, or in the TV news article.
But I think those reporting in such specialized areas as Passenger Rail should learn to hold their water. Let's face it. Bigger Amtrak budgets don't always result in better Passenger Rail service. When and if they do is the time to get excited. I would much rather hear about the successes resulting from the use of funding than about projected funding that may or may not materialize.
If all of the excited speculation of the past decade had resulted in solid passenger rail service, we would be riding HSR trains on dedicated rights of way from Chicago to Detroit and from Los Angeles to San Francisco, we would have Amtrak service that made money, and we would be light-rail commuting in a dozen small cities that are barely able to keep bus service solvent.
So let's not get too excited!
For another view on what is and is not possible and probable in passenger rail, please see RailwayAge guest blog [here].
©2013 - C. A. Turek - email@example.com