Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Proposal #3

Lets make a solid Big-Dig like investment in upgrading and electrifying northeastern freight railways.
This works on several levels, it'll reduce traffic congestion from DC to Bangor, it'll create jobs and stimulate heavy machinery markets, it will also reduce the region's carbon footprint. Hell if I had to sell such an appropriation to congress I'd talk it up as practical environmental measure that would also reduce our dependence on imported crude oil..
This is a sobering quote from the above linked article:
For example, UPS desperately wants to use fast trains like the ones Erie Lackawanna once had to reduce the cost of moving parcels coast to coast in less than four days, a feat currently requiring a tag team of truck drivers at enormous cost in fuel and labor. For a brief time in 2004, UPS did persuade two railroads to run a train fast enough to handle this business. But due to insufficient track to allow slower trains to get out of its way, the UPS bullet train caused massive congestion, freezing up the Union Pacific system for months until the railroad at last canceled the service. Big trucking companies like J. B. Hunt, meanwhile, have become the railroad’s biggest intermodal customers, sending as many of their containers as they can by rail.
Hell...this is even a pro-business measure, UPS and Fedex will be able to ship faster and cheaper, that can't be bad for the US consumer.

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