$50 Billion to Transportation

While it is promising to hear that money is being allocated for infrastructure upgrades, I am very skeptical that that money will be used wisely. For one, I highly doubt that $50 Billion will be enough to upgrade 150,000 Miles of Road, 4000 Miles of Rail, and 150 Miles of Airport Runways PLUS Air traffic control systems. As per this news article for example, which states that (an unrelated highway project) is going to take $191 Million and will only end up improving a single highway interchange. That is basically 1/5th of a Billion dollars. So 5 highway interchanges, might add up to a billion dollars.

I am not saying this is a bad thing, but I do hope that this money is spent more on trains and air traffic then it is on highways.  Gas taxes and local governments will always end up paying for roads.  Quite simply, rail is a more economical method of transporting items.  And hopefully this will encourage more companies to utilize rail.

But sadly Rail has one problem that highways and roads generally don't have.  Rail has those NIMBY asshats who like to move in beside a rail right of way, and then like to complain when the rail company decides to run more trains over their trackage right which has been there since 1900.  I bet most of the money ment for rail improvements will end up being spent on court fees to settle such disputes when the rail companies try to use this money to actually improve their infrastructure.

People do not seem to realize that trains are a lot quieter then they used to be.  They also are far more environmentally friendly and they help bring shipping costs down.  They also bring hundreds of trucks off the road for each train that passes.  Most main lines around Buffalo see about 40 trains a day.  Many of these trains average about 450 axles which turns out to about 115 cars.  Each car carries about 2 to 5 trucks worth of load.  So at a minimum that is 230 trucks off the road per single train.  In a single 24 hour span, the average mainline rail line will handle enough train tonnage to take at least 9200 trucks of f the road, if not MORE.

Imagine 9200 trucks driving past your house every day.   Imagine commuting to work in that traffic.  Do you think some of those trucks will get into accidents?  probably will become a daily - if not hourly - event...   Some of those accidents may even contain hazmat spills.   There is a far more likely chance that those hazmat trucks will collide and create a dangerous spill, then a hazmat train will derail and spill its contents.   How many trains pass through Buffalo every year?  About 40 a day minimum, so 14,600 trains a year.  And I hear of only a few minor derailments every year in the area...  Try calculating how many truck loads that would be in a year...  and the likelyhood of those trucks to be involved in accidents.

Now...  Why don't you want that train in your backyard again?

Getting back on topic, I really hope that $50 Billion will help.  Our countries infrastructure needs all the help it can get!