Is Big Business Greed Killing High-Speed Rail In The United States?
I’m not trying to be anti-business here, but c’mon Big Rail. We love the fact that you’ve invested billions in your land and infrastructure to get all those goods to us from China, but how about seeing the big picture?
The Wall Street Journal reported recently on the apparent standstill happening around high-speed rail.
Instead of collaborating with stakeholders pushing for more efficient ways of getting around – not to mention removing cars from the road – we’re stuck again with a shortsighted focus from an industry hell bent on the status quo.
And it doesn’t appear the Feds and state policy makers are being unfair. Case in point from The California High Speed Rail Authority.
According to the WSJ, the California group even proposed to deploy more than 200 miles of new track along Union Pacific’s existing rails. Not good enough, however.
“..a Sept. 2 report by the authority said Union Pacific, the largest U.S. railroad, insisted in letters to the authority that "no part of the high-speed corridor" be located on the railroad’s right-of-way or near it. The railroad said it would fight any attempts to take its land—or that of its customers—by eminent domain, according to the authority.”
So let’s get this straight. We can’t build new rails near your rails and you think Federal Stimulus funds are chicken feed? Actually, I think the economic chief at the Association of American Railroads summed up it up best.
"It is interesting money perhaps," he said of the federal funds. "But is it the kind of thing you sell your soul for? No."