Come on in and sit down. I wanna talk to you about trains for a minute. That's pretty much it. Still chuckling...
Beginning later this year, Amtrak will begin replacing its 30-year-old fleet of locomotives on the Northeast Corridor and Keystone Corridor with brand new trains. [more inside]
By the creator of the California Rail Map, and inspired by ideas from various agencies and advocacy groups: A Map of the US High Speed Rail System
"There is at least one technology in America, however, that is worse now than it was in the early 20th century: the train." Why trains run slower now than they did in the 1920s.
"This could take exactly 77 hours and 15 minutes, if the trains keep to schedule. Most likely, they won’t." GOOD Magazine takes a cross-country train ride to examine exactly why America's rail system sucks so badly, and where we go (slowly) from here.
The first National Train Day is this coming Saturday. There will be events all over, and concerts, special guests and lots of train related attractions in four main cities, Washington D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. The day is May 10th to commemorate May 10th, 1869 when the “golden spike” was driven into the final tie in Promontory Summit, Utah. It joined two major railways, ceremonially creating the nation’s first transcontinental railroad. Except that it really didn't. That did not actually happen until August 15th, 1870, near Strasburg, CO. Colorado State officials list it (pdf) as Comanche Crossing, saying "An unpretentious white monument marks the spot". The "drab concrete pylon" was moved from the actual site and now sits in Lions Park. Next to the monkey bars.
Having just returned to Paradise for a little visit, I am reminded just how cool this little place is (not that I needed much reminding *whimper*), and am looking for touristy things to do here without a car. While I was on my way up on the Pacific Surfliner train, a fellow rider told me about Santa Barbara Car Free. Awesome! Also props to CalTrans' alliance with Amtrak in California. The trains and service and overall quality of the passenger rail system is quite a bit different from what I've experienced thus far of the stuff handled by Amtrak alone.
Bye Bye Amtrak? "If Congress and the Administration do not appropriate adequate funds for FY '03, Amtrak may be forced to discontinue all long-distance train service effective October 1." Rail advocacy groups have differing reactions.
AMTRAK still off-track (NY Times link) Even before living in France I loved trains. So it pains to read that AMTRAK is stillheading towards its last run. Do you progressive, SUV-hating Mefi people have any thoughts on how AMTRAK might get its act together (or whether it's all SUV-futile)?