a heart is captive

a heart is captive

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bring Back the Trains

When did the governments become unresponsive to the needs of its citizens? When did our government cease to care about its citizens? Was it in my life time?

These are not idle and silly questions. I ask because I am concerned about how I live and every other ordinary person, is living here in the US and Canada.

I need to get from one place to another and driving is a very dangerous experience on the roads of Maine, New Brunswick, and other places. We have bad weather, large animals, small animals, and driver fatigue to be concerned about. Let alone dark desolated stretches of road with no means of communications in case of an accident. If the cell phone does not work, then what sort of help can be summoned?

Canada wants to stop VIA so there will no way to get from here to there by train. The US has already crippled Amtrak to the point of absurdity. We are forced to take dangerous, cramped air planes or drive across the hundreds and thousands of miles and risk our lives in the process. One would begin to think that travel of its citizens is not desired by the governments. Oh yes I can drive but it is long, dangerous roads, poorly maintained at that, I have access to. Gas prices aside the public needs real transportation. And Trains are the economical way to go. Not even high speed ones just the old fashioned ones that ran our country in the 1930s,1940s,1950s.... until the airlines took over with its siren song for speed and the automoblie industry seduced us with "freedom". I can live with out speed now since even air travel is uncomfortable, expensive, longer, and harder to get from here to there. And what price this freedom when I am stranded in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire?

An example. From Bangor Maine to not LA or San Francisco, but Sacramento, Calif will take 14 hours and cost $750 ONE WAY! I must change planes 3 times and the route is tortuous through Hub cities that double back. There will be nothing to eat and I will pay extra for one checked bag. I need to travel. If I did not need to I would never go to another airport again and be subjected to the rude, vile treatment from Homeland Security. The overworked airline staff try to be nice but they are getting 50% less than they did 15 years ago for more work. Air travel today is the cattle cars of the past. Even the first class ticket is on the same route and takes the same 14 hours! To travel by car means maybe a nine or more day drive at 500 miles a day motels and the fatigue. And I can never cross the state of New York in safety with their Jackboots roaming the highways. But I need to go to California to fetch my Aunt. I can't drive her back it would be too much for a 95 year old lady! It would add 21 days to my trip already. Whereas a train can do it in 3 or 4 days in relative comfort. Subject a 95 year old to 3 plane changes and 14 hours is torture. (Yes I know the US approves torture now)

What I want, nay, demand is the return to the train system, where dozens of towns had a station and there was a way to get from Podunkville to Boonieopolis with out a car. With out the stress of back roads and storm; with out the fear of breakdown(flat tire) in the middle of absolute nowhere!

Trains can be the way to move the citizens with a bit of comfort and just add a day or 2 to a trip, the planes may not be moving in the storm but the trains still do. I rather spend that extra day on a train than in the airport still facing the long uncomfortable flight when the weather does clear! And god forbid I get stuck on the tarmac for more than 4 hours! Even 30 minutes is pressing my panic attack buttons and going into meltdown.

So why not trains? Tell me Why not! Because the country is run by lousy automobile companies? Big oil makes diesel for trains so it is not them. Steel Plants can build rail cars. People can work laying more rails, keeping up stations and tens of thousands of jobs are created not just for short term but long term. Of course some intelligence and vision is needed from the rulers. And no one since FDR has cared about Americans, the little people the me and you people.