After wonderful experiences taking trains all over Japan, I thought about all the benefits we would derive from a good rail system and wondered why no one was talking about it. Each time I mentioned it the responses were something about being in love with our automobiles, or how awful Amtrak was. I took the train, once, from Pittsburgh to New York. The trip was so nasty I returned by bus–cleaner and faster. A high-speed rail system, like they have in Japan, would get me to New York in two and a half hours; Chicago in three hours. One of my recent flights from New York took seven hours. I could have driven in that time.
David Bear, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, had an article, last Sunday, about the situation; first time I’ve seen anything about it. He goes into all the statistics and concludes with some hope for improvement, but not much. I followed the link in the article and found there is some interest in US rail travel. With some Googling I found articles that had been broadcast on NPR and also found that the Japanese rail system is both private and publicly owned and makes a PROFIT. So, now I have this fantasy that Bill Gates will look at the situation, decide he could make money this way, and build high-speed rail service throughout the country, or at least from Pittsburgh to New York and Chicago.
I think the time (for a similar system of rail connections in this country) has come! I wish it could happen and I share your fantasy about Bill Gates.
George and I took a nine day rail trip this winter. San Diego, Portland, and Seattle…..and return. We had a ball, we would do it again, and even the food was good tho repititious. Imagine, sitting in your own comfortable chair with a table right in front of you, and a giant window to frame the passing landscape. I think we might have taken just as many pictures on this west coast trip as we did in London.
Absolutely, we need better faster trains for humans as well as freight.