We all like trains.

Posted On: Wednesday - August 1st 2018 12:25PM MST
In Topics: 
  Music  California  Economics  Geography


I still have videos around that are named stuff like “I LIKE TRAINS”. Kids used to watch them. We have books on the old Streamliners, which used to go 90 to over 100 mph with these huge-ass steam locomotives (at first) that had the big cowling for the streamlining and bringing a whole new aesthetic look to the world. That power and speed is impressive even today.

I don’t know how any boy grows up even today NOT liking trains. I think it’s the initially very scary noise and mass, that one can get a thrill from just watching a bunch of hopper, tanker, auto-rack, lumber, and box cars pass from 20 ft away is a blast. We still stay at the crossings and get out of the car to watch.

I have ridden the Amtrak across the country coast-to-coast a few times. It’s a blast, but, hey, don’t plan that trip to meet a business schedule! It’s 3 days minimum, and you have to give the people on the other end an ETA like “in the morning” or “late-afternoon, at least before midnight” vs.” 6:25 PM”. Yes, we did play card games in the club car, not even a penny a point, as I had to teach the girl and her kid brother how to play poker to begin with.

All that said, no matter how much we LIKE trains for various reasons, you don’t spend more of the debt-living taxpayers’ money on something that everyone just LIKES. The Head fruits and Head nuts in California have been working hard to further bankrupt that former Paradise with a train, on train-tracks and all. Yea! No, not "yea", we're talking $80,000,000,000, give or take a coupla dozen billion, for a high-speed rail line from San Francisco to Los Angeles. That monetary amount to build an ~ 400 mile train line is more than the US national budget of 1958!. Steve Sailer appropriately eviscerated this boondoggle in a post a coupla days back. There are many good comments under the article, some writing from knowledge of railways, and others of California geography. I believe I'll continue on with some comparisons with train vs. air travel, along with comparisons and explanations of why HS trains worked out in Japan and China, but not here in America.

That train might get people excited about riding on it. That train might get people excited about watching it or just knowing it's there. Yes, that's why people voted for it. That money will never be recovered though. As a business that train will not pay off. Maybe that doesn't bother people. However, this country, and most people in it, are too broke for this frivolity. It’s not 1965. Hundreds of thousands of people following The Dead around in VW microbuses for the summer while selling weeds and beads was a blast for them, and was not very productive either. However, America and Americans could afford all that back then. America, Americans, and moreso California, and Californicators are in debt up to their ears, California's gonna go broke, and the only reason America won't is that the FED can keep mashing [ctrl] and [P] at the same time, making new dollars, until a dollar won't buy a gumball.

Yes, trains are cool, but in America, jet air travel put the passenger train business mostly out of business, with only Big-Gov supported Amtrak left, to carry one around for nostalgia or fear-of-flying-and-cars reasons. We can't have the stuff just for fun anymore. I will discuss in the subsequent posts the reasons for the end of the American passenger railroad era. Even almost 5 decades back, when Steve Goodman* wrote The City of New Orleans, the passenger lines, including the Illinois Central line of the song, were all but gone away.

Arlo Guthrie does a great job on this bittersweet ode to riding the railroad - he has been featured before on Peak Stupidity with his Alice's Restaurant story/song as related to the post Free Tommy

You've gotta WATCH this one - it's not just the music this time:

* I never have seen Steve Goodman sing and play, but this is the 2nd really good song he's written that I knew from other singers. Peak Stupidity featured Jimmy Buffett's Banana Republics in this post about pundit and nouveau Mexican pundit Fredrico Reed.

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