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Imagine if

December 5, 2007

Imagine if the U.S. had a high-speed rail network like Europe or Japan. Do you think it would make a difference in traffic, pollution, etc.?

Super Trains: Plans to Fix U.S. Rail Could End Road & Sky Gridlock

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 6, 2007 11:23 am

    It was the cover article on PM’s December issue. Pretty interesting, I just wonder if it’ll get paid for.

  2. December 6, 2007 11:48 am

    It really is a great idea. I chuckled at the Seattle to Portland route topping out at 110 mph. I’m all for it, but make it fast, and few stops in between.

    I was going to put my kids on the train, but it is 4 hours or more. And the cost was still more than driving them from Portland to Tri-Cities. I can’t justify that.

  3. Slothboy permalink
    December 6, 2007 12:11 pm

    That’s the trouble with trains currently, We looked into riding the train to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving. It was around $300 round trip and would have taken an hour longer, if there were no delays.

    If we figure it ultimately cost about $140 for gas then the only incentive is that it might be neat to ride the train for the first few hours, but I couldn’t justify the additional cost when it would take LONGER to get there, and we would have probably ended up eating in the dining car at some point which would have been more expensive than the McDonald’s stop in Oakridge.

    Now, if it had taken half the time or something, it might have been worth it. But it looks like we are a long way from having a maglev route in the Willamette Valley. Neat technology, but it might have to wait for my Grandkids to grow up before it is usefull, by then we’ll have to have fixed traffic through other means.

  4. Molo permalink
    December 6, 2007 12:27 pm

    Also, remember that Europe and Japan had pretty good rail networks before WW2, had those networks smashed to the ground, and rebuilt them in the infrastructural vacuum of the post-war era. At the same time, we were allowing Ford, GM and AMC to buy up our railroads and public transit lines, tear them up and sell the scrap to finance new automobile factories, knowing that more people would have to buy cars at that point.

    However, I’m all for public transit, even though I seldom ride the MAX anymore. If we had a rail system even half as good as the Japanese, I’d sell my truck in a heartbeat. Of course, the Japanese use the rail passes to track your movements as part of their Big Brother/Creepy Democracy madness. Not so keen on that one.

  5. December 9, 2007 4:38 pm

    so, i heard that using railroads for transport of people and goods would be more cost-effective in gas, man-power, maintenance, etc….

    BUT, “they” (whoever “they” are) let transport move to cars and especially those big scary Mack Trucks because this provides more jobs.

    more trucks = more drivers……
    more trucks = more vehicles to maintain….
    more trucks = more highway wear and repair……

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