On the heels of my last post comes a first hand report from the publisher of Destination:Freedom the weekly newsletter of National Corridors Initiative, Inc., a national rail advocacy group. Jim RePass’s lead article details the discrepancies between the U.S. and European modes of inter-city travel, and how the gap in service is widening despite all our rhetoric of wanting something better.
The Europeans have retained, maintained and enhanced their systems despite having two world wars ruin great swaths of their continent, while we Americans have driven ourselves to excess in city size, auto size and waistline size, in our relative peace and isolation at home of the last 80 years.
Europeans have the ability to travel from city to city at high speed, from city to village or station to residence at moderate speed or,best of all, they can travel from house in city A to house in city B without walking much more than a quarter mile the entire trip. And Americans think that they have the best standard of living. We Americans can do better. We Americans must do better. We Americans may already be too late to the party.