Sunday, August 23, 2009

Too Much Time...

We have a fallacy in the US of the harried 'Mr. Important' businessman who has to fly as he doesn't have time in his busy busy schedule for anything else.
I call bullshit.
Unless you have back to back facers in different states or some last minute emergency, anyone can afford the time to travel in a more leisurely fashion. With wireless- Iphones- laptops, etc..most business can be done from anywhere at anytime. We conducted business on the train constantly- and even attended our regular board meeting by speakerphone in the privacy of our sleeper car. And we attended it barefoot, in our comfy clothes while watching the beautiful countryside roll by. That would have been impossible to do from a plane.

On our last plane trip we were going less than half as far as we did on the train, but with delays, unscheduled stops, etc it took 2/3 as much time to get there. Our train made every single major stop on time. The only hold-ups were when Union Pacific (which owns the western rails) held up our train over seemingly frivolous things such as when they wanted our train to hook up to and haul one of their business cars. But we still made it to the next scheduled 'person pick up' stop on time.

It felt as if Union Pacific was somewhat of a big bullying brother to Amtrak. Amtrak really needs it's own high speed rail. That is how they do it in Europe- the high speed passenger rails are separate from the other tracks.

Germany's high speed "ICE" rail system makes us look like the Flinstones competing with the Jetsons. It's really embarrassing as an American to know that we are still trundling along on tracks leased from shipping companies (at around 60 mph) while most of Europe is Zipping along at 200+ mph on renewable energy magnetic rail.

A high speed, coast to coast rail system would be a perfect, shovel ready project that would immediately create jobs nationally, decrease congestion and improve the environment- and the very thought of something like that would have petroleum and coal honchos setting their hair on fire. I say "Have at it." The world would be better off without you in the long run. Especially after traveling the countryside and seeing the ugly devastation done by your industries. The faster clean energy sources replaces you, the better off we will all be.

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Keep it civilized and post related please. Other than that, have at it.