Las Vegas Sun

April 17, 2014

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letter to the editor:

Highway system is inadequate

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In his letter, “Common sense on high-speed rail,” William M. Moreland asks the question, “When was the last time that Amtrak made a profit?” An answer can be given with another question: “When was the last time that the highway made a profit?”

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  1. There's a huge difference between our roads and rails. Everybody, that is everybody, uses the highways and their byways daily. They have to. They don't have a choice. Not so with trains and rails. They're used optionally and on occasions EXCEPT, and it's a big exception, they are for commuters to ride to and from work.

    Carmine D

  2. If you live in New York state which built the New York thruway in 1954 at a cost of $600 million dollars equivalent to $5.13 billion in 2013 dollars.

    The New York state thruway was supposed to stop collecting fees in 1964 once the thruway was paid for.However today nearly 50 years later NYS thruway fees are still being collected in New york State.Last year alone the fees collected on the NYS thruway were $634 million dollars.If the letter writer were to investigate other states i'm sure he will find similar operations.

  3. Correction, on my 5:14 a.m. post,nearly 60 years later is what I intended to write.

  4. Apples & oranges. Roadways are a legitimate use of public funds by government; giving private investors funds to (whatever) is not. I don't think anyone opposes the goofy idea of a train to "nowhere;" they just don't want taxpayer funds involved. If it's such a great idea, why does the public have to be financially involved? The same goes for stadiums, bailouts, subsidies and other boondoggles. Let the market decide; not some sleazeball politician or unelected bureaucratic drone!

  5. You won't have to worry about Amtrak, highways, bridges or tunnels making profit much longer. Our infrastructure is collapsing and it seems people just don't care. "It cost too much to repair" is usually the response. Instead of putting a few people hundred to work building a pipeline, we could put hundreds of thousands of people to work rebuilding our failing infrastructure.

  6. Bychuck333,

    I'm all for a high speed rail system to Orange county,not Victorville.A train than can go 150-200 mph.Not an Amtrac train with a max speed 70 mph, and once it reaches the cajon pass it has to slow down to 40-45 mph to make it over the mountain.

    We as a country have 315 million people who currently live and work in it. By the time the of year 2030 rolls around we will have 364 million people,and by 2050 we will have a population of 438 million people in it. We need to do things to keep the country moving with all forms of current, and new improved transportation needs (high speed rail) is a big one.

  7. Ah, I remember the Callahan Tunnel in Boston, built prior to WW2, with promises that the bonds would be paid off by the early 60's. So when the early 60's came, the pols said "Wait there was no money for maintenance, and we need an income source to keep it open. The tiles are falling off the walls". So they passed another bond issue, and to this day, the lazy toll collectors are still making 60-80G a year. For nothing. Beware of toll roads..

  8. I suspect that the biggest hurdle to High Speed Rail in the Western US is that the vast majority of people here have zero experience with rail service, much less HSR.

    Anyone who has ridden the bullet trains between London and Paris or Tokyo and Kyoto can attest that it's incredibly convenient. It's as fast as air travel over moderate distances, and far more comfortable than air travel or driving.