Bad Weather; Bad Ideas.
I have no idea what the total rainfall has been this winter here in Maui, but it’s been a lot. In fact, we’ve had more days of heavy rain than I can remember in the16-plus years since we moved here from Oahu. Today (Sunday) was another one—cold (that means it was in the low 60s), windy and 5 to 10-minute downpours couple of times an hour. Every hour. All day.
I know that most of you living back there on the mainland have experienced much colder temperatures, but you’re prepared for it. Your homes are heated and you have warm clothes—jackets and overcoats. But two weeks of wind and rain every day has a lot of people here climbing the walls.
In the meantime, I’m starting to organize my trip to Washington, DC, for the annual Spring meeting of the Rail Passengers Association. It’s an especially important gathering because in an interview with Railway Age magazine, Amtrak’s Number Two guy, Amtrak’s Number Two guy, Senior Executive Vice President Stephen Gardner, once again spoke about the future of Amtrak passenger service being in rail corridors linking cities 300 to 400 miles apart. Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati, for instance.
That concept does makes sense, especially for Amtrak, because it presupposes financial support for those corridor routes from the states involved. The problem is, most of the discussion about this kind of corridor service also presupposes the end of the long-distance trains, which would mean the end of any affordable public transportation for millions of Americans in the west and midwest.
Our mission, when we gather in two weeks, is to make sure senators and representatives from all those states are aware of what Amtrak is considering and how their constituents will be impacted,