Saturday, May 22, 2010

Opinion Blame Misplaced.

In Today's San Antonio Express news, I was reading the opinion page and looking for maybe they printed my opinion I sent in last week. While skimming though it I came across this opinion.

"U.S. needs rapid rail

Well, at last we have a politico who says we need high-speed trains. Euro Rail has been Europe's main transportation for years, and Great Britain has just completed its new rapid-rail system. The Euro would be going 110 mph and had to slow to 45 mph when it came through the tunnel to Great Britain. Now, it's a delight to ride on the train from London to Manchester and look out at the cars that look as though they are going 15 mph.

Now we come to the U.S., which for years had the best rail transport in the world, but now we rely on air and bus. You can ride the train, but don't expect a fast trip because your train could be put on a siding three or four times to let a freight train go past. That's really stupid! Thank you, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood!

Amelia Fales"

Amelia Puts the blames on the wrong guy for causing our lopsided transportation choices. Ask any rail fan, and they would tell you that Amtrak usually gets the siding because of the size of the train, not the priority. But this has been going on for the entire history of Amtrak since It creation back in 1971. Unlike Europe, which devotes tons of government money to their trains, we don't because we believe that roads, and airlines pay for themselves. This has been our transportation policy for the past 60 plus years.

We, as a nation have and continue to sideline rail over highways and planes. The only way this will change is when gasoline stays at $4 a gallon for a long period of time. Then we'll demand alternatives that don't use as much fuel, but by that time it will be a little to late to demand such a service which takes years to get off the ground. If you want to put any blame down for a lousy rail service, blame the lack of political will starting back with Nixon, not the current guy in power who wants to change the status quo.

Maybe I'm wrong here, and she's thanking LaHood for changing the priorities from road to rail, but thats now how I read it.

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