Amtrak, High-Speed Rail, and Pols Still Don’t Get It.
Looking sharp! Amtrak has unveiled a new color scheme for their locomotives, reverting to an up-dated version of the red-white-and-blue striping that was used a number of years back. Handsome, isn’t it! I don’t know about you, but I will never stop feeling a thrill when one of those wonderful machines rumbles into a station … especially when it’s about to take me somewhere.
And, on that same subject, I chafe whenever I see that the anti-rail people cite as their source someone from the Cato Institute. This is a Libertarian “think tank” which invariably offers knee-jerk opposition to any new initiative by government, no matter how necessary or sensible. That is, after all, the essence of their ideology.
People really do want high-speed rail! A new poll on the subject of passenger rail – and specifically high-speed rail — has produced some surprising results: most Americans have only a foggy understanding of high-speed trains. And why should they? Only 30 percent of us even own a passport and most Americans have never, ever ventured beyond our own borders, even to Mexico or Canada. That means that a very small fraction has ever had the chance to experience high-speed trains. But here’s what’s so interesting: despite those seemingly discouraging numbers, the poll reveals that a very solid majority of U.S. citizens are in favor of more and better and faster trains. Whaddaya know! There is hope after all!
Here’s an idea: Let’s make all the anti-rail politicians actually ride some trains … first on the French TGV, then on Amtrak. At the very least, it’ll make them think twice before they start blathering about how we’re so much smarter than everyone else.