Friday, December 13, 2019

Why Passenger Railways are Terrible and Freight Railways are Amazing

Why Passenger Railways are Terrible and Freight Railways are Amazing
Excerpt: Even the oft-cited bright spot of Amtrak, the “high speed” Acela system (which shuttles between Boston and Washington D.C) pales in comparison when compared to high-end passenger rail systems in Western Europe, Japan, and China. Bullet trains routinely travel at least 200 mph, whereas Acela trundles along at a pedestrian 84 mph, and there is no indication (and probably no intention) of that gap closing anytime soon. U.S. passenger rail services in general are money-losing and antiquated versus their global counterparts, an inarguable (and to public transport proponents, embarrassing) fact. (...) The U.S. freight railway system, conversely, is the envy of the world, and this is not hyperbole or chest thumping; the facts back it up. Since the Staggers Act of 1980, which deregulated freight rail, improvements have been substantial. U.S. freight railways carry 81% more ton-miles of freight, and costs have fallen 46%. [Sometimes, what we think we know isn’t quite so. It never crossed my mind that there was such a difference in freight and passenger railroading. Where’s Dagny Taggart when we need her? Ron P.]

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to Trump we should have plenty of money to spend on ourselves. Less of our cash going to the pockets of our politicians and foreign dictators.