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... is how to convince people to benefit now for the sake of future generations. For instance, the proposal to double-track and electrify the main freight rail grid of the US offers the opportunity for substantial greenhouse gas reduction off the bat, further greenhouse gas reduction if we shift our production grid to non-carbon-emitters, and reduced energy dependency, and a substantial economic stimulus as the program is being rolled out.

And if the oligopress ever notices the proposal, the cry will go up, "Oh, no, we can't afford it".


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Jul 30th, 2008 at 03:01:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and likely federal subsidies to railroad companies that provide them with a more efficient physical plant with lower cost per ton/mile.  Use some of the right-of-way to install an upgraded electrical grid while we are at it.  Given all of the money we have hosed at air transport and highway transport it would balance the "subsidy field."  Dare we hope that high speed rail transport be rolled into the mix?  Eventually even long distance transport of electric cars could be offered.  Is this making too much sense?  If it could be paid for with a 1% tax on all goods transported, or some fraction of a cent per 100 miles, it could be made self supporting.  At the rate prices are going up, who would notice a 1% increase?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jul 30th, 2008 at 07:35:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as JEN-u-wine HSR in a European/Japanese sense, that would be a distinct program ... as far as the Express speed tilt trains ... the 160kph/100mph type ... sure, there's no problem it fitting in.

While there are regulatory hurdles to cross in having Express-speed passenger rail mix with freight traffic in the US, there is no technical difficulty. Mixing traffic at different speeds causes problems with rail, but having 160kph/100mph container superfreighters and 160kph/100mph passenger trains use the same track is no major problem.

And having electric traction for the Express speed rail also simplifies integrating regional hub airports into the system, since diesel trains cannot stop at underground stations, while electric powered trains can.

As far as how to fund it, given the runaway US trade deficit, its certainly within its rights to impose a non-discriminatory revenue tariff on imports, especially if the revenues are invested in a structural reduction in import requirements.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Jul 31st, 2008 at 12:46:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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