trainover country

I’m a fan of rail service and I was glad to see Obama bring it up recently:

The irony is with the gas prices what they are, we should be expanding rail service … We are going to be having a lot of conversations this summer about gas prices. And it is a perfect time to start talk about why we don’t’ have better rail service. We are the only advanced country in the world that doesn’t have high speed rail. We just don’t’ have it. And it works on the Northeast corridor. They would rather go from New York to Washington by train than they would by plane. It is a lot more reliable and it is a good way for us to start reducing how much gas we are using. It is a good story to tell.

Notice that ellipsis after the first sentence? Both of the places where I initially saw these comments included it, but following the links I found a more detailed report of that Obama appearance. And it turns out those three dots hide quite a bit:

“The irony is with the gas prices what they are, we should be expanding rail service. [Begin ellipsis] One of the things I have been talking about for awhile is high speed rail connecting all of these Midwest cities – Indianapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, St. Louis. They are not that far away from each other. Because of how big of a hassle airlines are now. There are a lot of people if they had the choice, it takes you just about as much time if you had high speed rail to go the airport, park, take your shoes off.”

He continued to talk up Amtrak.

“This is something that we should be talking about a lot more,” Obama said. [End ellipsis] “We are going to be having a lot of conversations this summer about gas prices.

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4 Responses to trainover country

  1. Rob_in_Hawaii says:

    Nice catch. Funny what gets left out in political reporting.

    As you say, investing in high-speed and other forms of rail transportation sounds like a great idea not only in the Washington-to-Boston corridor but also in the St. Louis-to-Chicago route and in the Great Lakes Region. It can’t help but to revitalize the Rust Belt in ways that NAFTA never could. Might even make Youngstown rebound! (My family’s roots are there, so I can still hope.)

    A Buffalo-to-Milwaukee bullet train? I don’t have the numbers at hand, but it’s got to cost less than staying in Iraq for a million years.

    On a side note, here in Honolulu we’re currently debating the merits of a light rail system. The opposition seems to be evenly divided among the don’t-tax-me crowd, the I’m-not-going-to-give-up-my-SUV folks, and those who don’t want to add infrastructure that might invite more people to move here. To my mind that’s awfully short-range thinking on all their parts.

    Like most serious issues, transportation policy needs real leadership — not cheap, short-term pandering. Is it too much to ask that we debate these proposals, as opposed to flag lapel pins, religious bloviating, and gas-tax holidays?

  2. andrew says:

    Is it too much to ask that we debate these proposals, as opposed to flag lapel pins, religious bloviating, and gas-tax holidays?

    I’m tempted to say “yes, because this is America.” But actually I think, especially on the national/federal level, transportation (and other infrastructure) issues have a lot of difficulty gaining attention because they look to a lot of people like purely local issues, even if some help from federal funding could make the difference between a project getting done or remaining a proposal.

    On high-speed rail, there’s probably potential for just the construction side to create jobs, although I suppose a lot of that work is done in other countries already.

  3. matt w says:

    Had there been a late-night train from Chicago to Milwaukee, there would have been a few times that I would have taken a train down to see a show rather than driving down and sitting in traffic for literally hours. But I suppose it’s not realistic to hope for a 1 AM train from Chicago to Milwaukee.

  4. […] it I can sing it for you. « by the wayside on because this blog needs contentmatt w on trainover countryclass unconsciousness « by the wayside on other americasandrew on from the sandbox to the […]

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