Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Rails to Trails Bullshit

One of my nephews is a bit of a railroad geek. So when I was in a bookstore a few years ago, I found a book on the New Haven Railroad and, after looking through it, sent it to him. There was one thing that struck me, and that was the map of the railroad.

At one time, the NHRR had a line called the "Putnam Division." The tracks went from Grand Central Station, right up through the spine of Westchester County, NY, and into Putnam County in the vicinity of Mahopac, NY, where the line swung to the east and met up with the New York Central's Harlem Line in Brewster, NY. The Putnam Division was slowly abandoned after World War II and the tracks were torn up in Westchester and Putnam Counties. Much of it now is a hiking/bike/perpetrator trail.

That is a serious waste, and, if I had my druthers, I'd rip up the hiking trail and rebuild the railroad. The right-of-way runs through some heavily populated areas that are bedroom communities for New York and White Plains. If the Putnam Division were operated as a commuter railroad line, it might be possible to get several thousand vehicles a day off the highways.

I don't mean to just pick on New York for this. You can find similar misbegotten rail-to-trails in many urban areas. Boston has one on part of an old Boston & Maine railbed that ran from North Station out through Lexington and Concord; fifty years ago, Budd cars provided commuter services on that line.


These railroad lines were a great resource; allowing them to wither and die has proven to be short-sighted. They should be rebuilt.

1 comment:

BadTux said...

At least because it has been preserved as a trail, it *can* be rebuilt. If it was paved over and put under houses, it would cost a horrible amount of money to rebuild.

In other news, the California High Speed Rail Authority has set the final route for the high speed rail between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It will take the shortest/fastest route. Current projections are that a trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles will take approximately three hours -- or roughly the same amount of time that it takes to go to the airport, find parking, check in, and then do the inverse at the other end. Yeah, it's only a 1 hour flight from SFO to LAX, but it's the other two hours of BS that do ya in...