29 Sep 2020

Riding rails

Excellent article on the state of rail between America's Twin Cities:

While Interstate 94 requires a few lanes in each direction to handle the many greenhouse gas-emitting cars – most with only a single occupant – two tracks plus occasional sidings are all that’s needed to handle several daily passenger trains and existing freight traffic...That is the only way the Empire Builder, and Amtrak overall, can come out of this global pandemic stronger. If our current political climate persists, and we continue with self-inflicting wounds to the economy including not taking the pandemic seriously and not addressing economic and racial disparities, then Amtrak is doomed to being mostly a skeletal system

It's my thinking that smart nations will double down on rail travel - purely because roads cost a fucking lot of money to maintain if they aren't used enough, and we are going to be using them less. When you consider all the evil cars have done to cities - that's a good thing.

Amtrak’s website includes a feature to track your train in almost real-time. On September 24th I looked at the eastbound train that would arrive in St. Paul the next day, and it was running an hour late in Montana.

Kinda blows my mind when you think about the distances involved in America. I remember reading a post from a lady who took an interstate train along the West Coast of America and ever since I've sort of obsessed with doing the same. That continent is so vast even their trains are ginormous.

EDIT: I found the post