TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: AMTRAK (was Re: Last, Sad Laugh! A Nice Place to Work!)

Re: AMTRAK (was Re: Last, Sad Laugh! A Nice Place to Work!)

Tony Pelliccio (
22 Oct 2004 08:48:54 -0700 (Dr. Joel M. Hoffman) wrote in message

>> doable, if a bit of a long day. It strikes me that one of our biggest
>> voluntary economic disadvantages is our failure to maintain and
>> improve a strong rail infrastructure.

> I'm sure you can find the full story on-line without much trouble.
> The short version is that the U.S.'s lack of a strong rail
> infrastructure is, in fact, by design. Detroit auto manufacturers and
> the truck-driver unions combined to dismantle the rail network that
> existed in this country and to pour money into building motorways
> instead of railways. The result is that we have great highways in the
> U.S. and not nearly as much rail as we used to (and terrible train
> service on what's left).

Don't forget the oil industry. Imagine what would happen to demand had
we a good rail infrastructure.

Right now we're paying a heavy price for those great highways. Rhode
Island has some of the worst roads, bridges and highways in the
country and Masschusetts isn't far behind.

What amazes me is that we still buy into the arguments put forth by
auto manufacturers, oil companies etc. A recent study indicated that
Rhode Island needs to widen I-95 in the southern part of the state and
all of I-295. At the same time, there are plans to build sidings for
rail stations in Warwick, RI in the immediate future, and then
Wickford and Westerley in the longer term. It would make much more
sense to drop commuter rail in. The MBTA has actually committed to
running their commuter lines as far as Warwick. That would make TF
Green airport an intermodal airport as the train station is < 1500
feet from the main entrance.

The point of my statement is that widening the highways in those areas
won't help. If they're going to wide anything they should do it in the
metro ring where traffic always backs up.

The other point is that we should make use of commuter rail, yes it's
more expensive up front but over the long term it might put off having
to expand highways.

If we were to tax gasoline to the point where it would be adequate to
maintain the roads we'd have riots on our hands.

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