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June 02, 2008

Comments

Incremental funding probably won't help Amtrak's on-time performance. The problem as I understand it is that years ago, a deal was cut where in the west, Amtrak shares the rails with freight, but freight gets priority. Freight volume has been increasing dramatically, and the promises made to Amtrak were basically ignored. Really what's needed is either a better operating agreement or separate passenger rail lines. For high-speed rail separate new passenger rail lines are required.

See Paul Krugman's NY Times blog today - he says Europe is facing a transport crisis, because they've decimated their freight rail transport in favor of passengers. Most of their shipping is done by truck or by water.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/02/europe-off-the-rails/

so they have the mirror image of our problem.

So what if we spent $$$ on improving freight AND passenger infrastructure? We have $3 trillion to throw away in Iraq, don't we? why can't we throw $3 trillion at our rail system? Or divert some of that space exploration money. Just sayin'

I believe that the only thing connecting LA and SJ right now is a bus, right? Blech, who wants to sit on a bus? I hope high-speed rail passes!

I do think that the train from Seattle to L.A. goes through San Jose. But it takes forever and it is frequently hours off schedule.

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