...and gets a sense of the state of Amtrak.
Long-distance rail travel in America today is for romantics. Taking this old train between Washington DC and Chicago isn’t the fastest, the cheapest, or even the most comfortable way to get between the two cities. To travel this way, you have to love these sounds, or at least have plenty of time to kill.A bit of a good read, actually. It looks like there's several take-aways here (although some more I've added), in priority order:
Pete Buttigieg, the new transport secretary, is one of those romantics. But he has nonetheless expressed a desire to drag this country’s rail system into the 21st century. Americans, he says, “have been asked to settle for less” when it comes to rail travel. He advocates massive investment to build high-speed rail and upgrade existing regional lines, and he has the full support of ‘Amtrak Joe’ Biden, perhaps the most train-friendly president in US history.
But this is a country of monster highways, cheap air travel, and a generation of young people who have never known trains to be anything but uncomfortable and inconvenient. Buttigieg’s only governing experience was two terms as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, population 100,000 – now he heads a department with a staff half the size of the city and a budget of $87bn.
I wanted to get a sense of the challenges he’ll face and experience long-distance rail travel in America in 2021. What needs to be done to fix them? Could this 39-year-old former mayor really make Americans fall in love with trains again?
- Remove all unnecessary regulation that slows down procurement of materiel (land/rail cars/equipment) and building of new rail lines
- Allow Amtrak to independently enforce on-time train rules against freight operators.
- Replace existing train equipment older than 25 years.
- Build more track to work around freight train interference and go faster.
"The last and final stop is BALTIMORE PENN STATION." I can has MARC V?