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The Latest (?) Word on “High Speed Rail”

Rails Inc’s Answer to Biden and Buttigieg about High Speed Rail

On September 11, I (JW) got one of those Democratic Party cookie-cutter poll / survey / mooch messages, from an outfit called “Moms Fed Up”, with the question, “Do you support Pete Buttigieg’s plan to bring high-speed Rail to the US?”.

Nobody we know of (except ourselves) has tried very hard to define “High Speed Rail”. To reduce your confusion, click here

Here’s our answer to “Moms Fed Up”, and to the President and the Transportation Secretary:

If Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg are so all-fired-up sbout better passenger Rail, how do they square this with their refusal to drop the hammer on Amtrak for sabotaging its own mandate from Congress to operate a safe and sufficient national passenger Rail system? To me personally, this looks like Contempt of Congress. Isn’t that a major infraction of some kind, or am I just some naive volunteer?

Through indifferent management, tricky accounting, and (I repeat) apparent sabotage of its own mission, the present management of Amtrak would have us believe that the NE Corridor pays for itself and that the long-distance routes West of the Mississippi are revenue losers. This is garbage. One might think these “leaders” are honestly mistaken, but since they’re just as smart as the rest of us, I for one can only conclude they’re lying.

Mr. B and Mr. B should be finding out why they’re lying and why regular-speed passenger Rail in our country is getting worse and worse in all the important definitions of such a service.

High Speed Rail, with its expensive right-of-way and limited station stops, is viable only as a key part of a multi-speed pervasive national passenger Rail network; in other words, a modernized version of what we had up to 60-70 years ago. Gotta learn to walk (again) before we can run.

OH YEAH: Our major tracks should be owned by the public, just like our Interstates, our highways, streets, major airports, and waterways. This would enable some much- needed restraints on the excesses (and deficiencies) of Big Freight, allow room for public and private rail services to compete and coexist on the tracks, and give Amtrak (what there is of it) a run for its money. Make that our money.

I’m not speaking here for the second and third of the three groups I belong to.

JW Madison
Rails Inc
The Rail Users Network
Railroad Workers United