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View Diary: A destination for that high-speed rail money (363 comments)

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  •  That money is needed down the I-81 corridor (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, LLPete
    In Virginia, and in Virginia Tech, we know our infrastructure is crumbling.  I-81 needs constant repair and has gotten it.  It's traffic continues to climb.  A few years ago, SW VA pushed hard to get the problem of too much heavy truck traffic on I-81 solved.  Unfortunately, the trucking industry fought this effort to a stand still.  Most people in this area know the death of the railroads hurt the area and that week need railroads back not just for efficient citizen transportation but for transportation of goods.  There are simply too many 18 wheelers up and down this corridor for safety and for the long term health of the road AND the surrounding environment.  They contribute significantly to the haze and pollution in the Blue Ridge.  By comparison, trains travel with less pollution and better fuel economy.  And people who drive regularly on I-81 know this too.  There's not a single time driving by Roanoke that anyone I'm with doesn't comment on how dangerous it is to drive with so many trucks traveling on the road with us.  Regardless of whether they are deemed responsible for accidents or not, every driver gets nervous when the constant convoys of trucks rush by or suddenly slow down or move to block both lanes.  Our cars move and are pushed around like toys.  The blind spots on those trucks are huge and the drivers simply cannot see a small car much of the time.  Getting most trucks off the road will help transportation, will increase safety, will reduce consumption of fossil fuels, will reduce pollution, will help the Blue Ridge to appear more "Blue," and will benefit the area with needed jobs by investing in railed infrastructure once again.

    Regardless of any other issue, using railroads, both high speed and regular freight, will benefit this area of the country immensely.

    Bring the money down here, Washington!

    •  The Conrail/NS/CSX merger (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gmknobl

      was supposed to alleviate this. That was one of the benefits NS touted to get control of its portion of Conrail. More recently, NS's Heartland Corridor project, which involved raising the heights of tunnels to provide better clearance for double-stack container cars, was supposed to help alleviate truck traffic on 81.

      •  good but (0+ / 0-)
        This is good but a small step.

        Also, I am unsure whether further conglomeration of the rail industry helps or hurts.  The only really good monopoly is the government and even then, only if sufficient checks and balances are applied.  As an aside, I'd say communications is one area where a government monopoly is good.  We should not have broken up Ma Bell.  Most all technology experts believe this is one great reason why the U.S. has fallen so far behind in our communications technology.

        But further investment is needed in rail to upgrade the existing infrastructure as well as develop newer, better infrastructure.  Perhaps sturdier, longer lasting railways that allow for more cargo in combination with the existing railways?  Entirely new routes could be built along with more interfacing yards for highway cargo to be on/off-loaded.  Faster rail technology should be implemented not just for passenger service but for freight, both to move goods and such things as trash.  Just my ideas though.  I'm no expert in this.

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