2.7.08

RETRENCHING. Trains for America recommends a New York Times article on the latest round of airline downsizing, which California High Speed Rail criticizes for insufficient discussion of alternatives.
High speed rail is necessary if Californians are going to get around their state, if our economy is going to have a shot at competing in the globalized 21st century.
That "globalized 21st century" is formulaic, but the sentiments are correct, although perhaps not yet in California. (Los Angeles to San Francisco is 400-some miles separated by mountains and deserts. The density of intermediate stations is insufficient to support a proper train system. Keep in mind that a 3 car Amtrak train has more seat space than a 737, and ten gallery cars offer more seat space than four 747s.)

On the other hand, Toledo, one of the cities the Times visits, is on one or two possible corridors. There's a site with the purpose of developing support for rail corridor service in Ohio. What intrigues is the non-use of the old New York Central line west to Chicago, which, for a brief time early in this century, had something resembling corridor frequency between Chicago and Cleveland, with the Lake Shore, Capitol Limited, and Pennsylvanian spaced through the day.

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