Wednesday, March 01, 2006

David Gunn is STILL Hitting the Nail on the Head!

Even if he isn't at Amtrak! Imagine what would happen if we had David Gunn as Secretary of Transportation and Norman Mineta as CEO of Amtrak. But I digress.

Gunn was part of the "Building Inter-Metropolitan Rail Corridors" Forum recently held at the University of Delaware. He had some very interesting observations.

Point: We are losing mobility for freight and passenger at an alarming rate, and that applies to not only rail, but also highway and even airlines! Currently, the infrastructure cannot keep up.

Sidebar: As a Track Material Supplier, I can say that the demand for track material has not varied significantly in the past twenty years or so. The wild ups-and-downs associated with rail car orders do not apply here. Wear and tear on the track has increased significantly. Rebuilding that track has not been keeping up, at least based on the delivery of material.

Point: There is about to be a major paradigm shift in how we see our petroleum based transportation system, as a result of demand coming from the exploding Chinese economy.

Point: Cities and States now understand what the Feds do not concerning the funding and subsequent building of transportation infrastructure.

Sidebar: A realistic look at the U. S. Congress reveals that it has been and probably will always be reactive and not proactive. And this is the organization that seems to pull, or not pull as the case may be, the Amtrak strings.

Read the whole thought provoking story with Mr. Gunn's comments here in the University of Delaware Daily.


At 7:44 PM, March 08, 2006, Blogger Mister Trains said...

Last things first: The U. S. Congress has been reactive all the way back to the USRA of WWI, and on through such debacles as Conrail and Amtrak. It is only by the foresight and vision of some of Conrail's eventual leaders that it became successful. But Congress continues to meddle with Amtrak. Cities and States may understand, but even they are bucking the political climate. See the case of Virginia and their efforts to establish a passenger rail authority. Your observations regarding petroleum-based transport and materials for infrastructure maintenance/improvement are right on. Finally, what mobility? I think was have already lost most of it. Thanks for your excellent blog. - Mister Trains -


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