Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
However, this is a case where the neoliberals did not succeed in stopping progress from being made. Work on the Chicago / Quad Cities route is work on the Chicago / Iowa City, Chicago / Des Moines and Chicago / Omaha route ... and that work is going ahead, and the starter 79mph service is going to be reintroduced in another two or three years from now.

And now that the "line on the map" says that the preferred alignment runs from there through Iowa City and Des Moines to Council Bluffs and Omaha, then once the Quad service is operating, the political pressure to start work on the extension is only going to grow.

After all, in Illinois, its not a "Democratic vs Republican" issue, since the local Chambers of Commerce in urban areas that lack a rail connection to Chicago always add to the clamor to be provided with one ... which is, after all, how the Rockford and Quad Cities funding made it through the Illinois state legislature.

And the Ohio / Wisconsin / Florida trick from 2010 of talking up the chance of diverting rail funds from highway funds won't work twice ~ that money went from Ohio and Wisconsin and Florida to California and Washington and Illinois and Michigan and Virginia and North Carolina, because they were willing to spend it on rail.

The Express HSR project in California is sometimes a bit touch and go, though when you wade through all the FUD, all indications are that its going to get approved this year to start construction on its first construction section from Merced to Bakersfield.

But there were too many Rapid Rail projects for the neoliberals to kill them all off. The administration's approach presented the neoliberals with a game of wack-a-mole, and while they were able to kill of three of the projects, the majority of the projects went ahead, and the projects that were killed off were replaced by two more projects. Those projects are proceeding as we speak, and as they come online, they are going to undermine the empty rhetoric of the ideologues with actual on the ground real world experience.

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 Mon May 7th, 2012 at 02:19:07 PM EST
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