Thursday, February 19, 2009

Choo Choo Go Go

Have a look at this map. I cannot include it here because I cannot get it large enough to be clearly legible. What you're looking at is a map of the proposed high-speed rail corridors that are supposedly going to be financed with stimulus package money. Can anyone say "hurrah!" How about: "It's about frigging time."

I'm actually getting a little ahead of myself. The fact is none of this is a done deal. The White House is giving high-speed rail considerable thought. But Obama is a smart guy, and the time could not be more right. High-speed rail, a reality in most developed countries, is described as "an initiative long on planning but unrealized nationally because of financial and logistical hurdles and insufficient political backing." A familiar litany, no?

Restoration of nationwide US passenger rail service, once the envy of the entire world, is something that's been overdue for twenty years, or longer. (Tell me about your last pleasant airline experience.) It appears that only a monumental catastrophe like the one we're in now could make it possible. And even the chance that Oklahoma will be on the Houston-San Antonio-Tulsa corridor just tickles me plumb to death.
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