If I read one more nostalgic tome to American passenger trains, I’m going to vomit.
America, TODAY, in 2002, has the most incredible railroad system in the world. It carries billions of ton-miles of FREIGHT every year, 37% of the nation’s total. America’s four primary freight railroads — Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe in the western states; CSX and Norfolk Southern in the East — carry massive amounts of cargo with world-class efficiency. Nobody pays attention to this fact, however, because they are commercial carriers and have no sex appeal for Hollywood starlets or the New York media elite.
In what other nation do 15,000-ton (yes, their gross weight is fifteen-thousand TONS each) trains haul coal at 70 MPH from the Powder River Basin of Wyoming to power plants in Alabama, Florida, Ohio etc. on a “conveyor belt” of coal that runs day and night, 365 days a year? What other nation’s railroads can deliver a BOXCAR from Los Angeles to Chicago on a passenger train schedule as BNSF does every day? What other country has produced the most powerful locomotives in the world from the Union Pacific “Big Boy” steamer of the 1930s to today’s 6,000 horsepower super-efficient General Electric and General Motors mountain-conquering diesel-electric behemoths?
Europe’s passenger railroads are little choo-choo trains in comparison.
And consider this: Our American freight railroads make profits, pay taxes, and do not depend on the government. Japan’s “bullet trains,” on the other hand, have wracked up more than ONE TRILLION DOLLARS in debt since their inception.
If Amtrak expands its schedule and its use of America’s freight railroads’ tracks, slowing down freight movements even more, as Amtrak does today, more trucks will take cargo business from the railroads. Consequently, any cut in automobile traffic will be made up by increased truck traffic on the highway.p>Go ahead and propagate your pipe dreams about intercity passenger trains running high-speed on dedicated new supertracks. It will be a massive boondoggle. The environmentalists will fight it every step of the way. It will never happen. In the meantime, go check out America’s freight railroads. They are the most awesome trains in the world today. br> — Steve Nikitas
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?