Wednesday, September 9, 2009

RAILROADS - September 10, 2009

Some of the recent stories concern the building of modern high-speed railroads in US, including a stretch between Madison and Milwaukee. But when specifics are mentioned, it turns out that the greatest extent that is hoped for would bring the speed up to a level that was already obsolete over a hundred years ago. Still it is comforting to know that the goal was tempting even though this State, and this country, does not have the will nor the wherefore to consider any such enterprise. For decades, I have been advocating building such a high-speed link between the 2 cities and in recent years I realized that we could combine that with an international airport in Jefferson County serving them, all for less than no money if the airport incorporated its own industrial park. The scope of such a project was beyond the thinking of some politicians I mooted it to, who seemed to prefer that Madison remain an air-fare desert, and Milwaukee somewhat also. So the wish for the lost days of rail connection joined as pie in the sky Tommy Thompson’s nonsense of hosting the super-collider project . The French can build a high-speed RR, but not US nor UK. These countries are up to their waists in tax-reduction and dreams of imperial splendor. All genuine interest in civic advancement is dismissed as communistic. The extent of the plans is to gain back 19th Century accomplishment, and even that will fail. The cargo cults of New Guinea built what they thought were airstrips in the hope that planes would land there and deliver large quantities of consumer goods, as they saw happening elsewhere. The dream of 21st Century railroads serves the same function in US and UK. It is a wish that the tax-cutters have managed to render totally unfulfillable.

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