Friday :: Oct 23, 2020

Omg, the American Trains are Coming!

by paradox

Among all the cacophony of news in a presidential campaign and rampaging pandemic the proposed Biden administration Amtrak plans caused barely a ripple in American public consciousness, but the train people were deliriously happy with high-fives and blissful embrace, the era of 21st American rail build-out is about to begin!

Before even the broadest outlines of the campaign have begun to gel it’s very important for the general public to understand that even here in America, birthplace to the internal combustion automobile and a society almost completely set up for them, well, a growing number of citizens loathe emission cars and dream of massive transportation change away from them—electric trains the primary method, in fact.

Yes train people like reclining with wine through Rocky Mountain rides or reading the paper as commuters rip their morning with a terrible drive into the office, but looking through the windows at a jack-knifed 18-wheeler train people see more.

We see a system of incredible injury, mayhem and death to passengers and pedestrians alike, my god this tragic toll of misery and pain would never, ever be tolerated for air or rail but we somehow reached a level of shrugging acceptance for cars.

We see a terribly tragic evolution of human ignorance, we had wagons on wheels and ingenious humans figured out powerful internal combustion, hooked it up to wagons and blithely assumed pumping pollutants into Earth atmosphere was absolutely no long-term problem at all.

That turned out to be a crushingly huge mistake, burning fossil fuels is a stupid, massively harmful activity that has to be terminated on this Earth as soon as possible. I wouldn’t have any hope at all to get out of this mess but for the fact that cars can still easily exist in electric or hydrogen form (all of our transportation systems can), the required change is massive in scope but not technically hard to do or resulting in serious deprivation.

We see a system of manifest human arrogance, billions of human souls on Earth never fire up internal combustion, yet the industrial humans are wrecking the planet for everyone else. Finally, we see a tragical stupid reliance on regional oil resources, we really don’t have to be tied to that hellhole cauldron of the Middle East.

[opens hands] I am an American internal combustion citizen, by 2025 all three gasoline cars at my little house will be gone, hopefully sooner. Replacing them will mean diminishment, only two electric-drives will remain, and their range will be shorter. How will I transport to LA, city of the angels? Take the electric train—better yet, take a sleeper-shower night train with the car loaded in the back, I’ll hit the LA streets fresh at dawn with a full car charge.

Last 30 years for various reasons many East German areas became de-populated, causing serious problems. The government encouraged immigration, new children saved the schools and many towns basically righted themselves with fresh brown faces. They interviewed the Germans who had stayed with it all and they didn’t like it, things were essentially okay but they still wanted things exactly as they were before the exodus began.

We as Americans are going to have to understand that going to the corner gas station to fill up the tank to zip to LA was a really special, unique time of ignorance and destruction that is never, ever coming back. We’ll have to wait for the car to charge and the range will be shorter, it’s not that bad.

Many, many millions of us never owned one of the death machines but still need to get to LA cheaply and quickly, the new era of American rail will open up vistas of freedom—freedom!—for so many our people.

Two regrettable factors of any public rail project need to be kept in mind, it’s maddening but in our America any public construction is at least twice as expensive as a private enterprise, public construction is seen as a massive trough of gluttonous exploitation, I’m sorry but I just don’t know how to change this American habit.

The initial cost estimates are nothing like the final cost, if Amtrak says it needs $25 billion it’s just a start, the final price likely $75 billion. Ridiculous on many levels, still a reality that must be accepted.

One that can be so easily lived with in this vastly wealthy country. Go, Amtrak, go! Build out a new electric future, we’re waiting for the ride.

paradox :: 7:18 AM :: Comments (0) :: Digg It!