Thursday, July 03, 2008

Train Dreams

The web is littered with half-baked train "projects" that need little more than some love, public support, and a couple billion dollars to get off the ground. Vector1 gives us a particularly fluffy example today, the solar train. But why stop there? Here's a gallery of not-gonna-happen/didn't-happen rail "proposals" culled in just a few minutes from the Goog:

Some of these attempts actually spent millions (like the Texas TGV), but they all met/are meeting the same fate. Millions won't do it, try billions, guys. That's what it took to build the continental railway system in the first place, in a financial bubble worthy of the dot-com era – and don't forget, generous government subsidies via land grants.

Meanwhile, freight rail in North America is going strong, stronger than Europe, even! But before passenger rail takes off, North Americans need to be willing to park their cars. So far, the gas price surge has only generated a surge of news stories on more efficient cars, electric cars, and small cars. But very few stories about not using your car.
 

3 comments:

David said...

Darn Canuck -- don't you know that not using your car or for that matter using a car with more than one person or using a car with a capacity of less than a ton is simply un-American?

Justin Bronn said...

The dream of Texas rail hasn't died yet. Freedom Train? C'mon give us Texans a little credit -- we're now calling it the Texas T-Bone Corridor. There's also the mega highway + commuter rail Trans-Texas Corridor (you know the proposal with flash maps has to win).

Christian said...

@freight: you can ship on water ways too, that's one reason why freight rail share is lower in eu than u.s.

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