The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

February 25, 2014

In Your Opinion: Time to bring back passenger trains

The Daily Star

---- — It seems there is a terrible epidemic going around in our country that continues every year — highway traffic accidents and fatalities. During this hard winter we always hear in the news about massive pile-ups, head-on crashes, and fender-benders all the time. 

Imagine if every person that attended a New York Yankees baseball game was killed or maimed on our nation’s highways during a given year. We’re talking thousands of people.

This is why we need more public transportation in this country. More passenger trains could save on fuel consumption, could reduce daily traffic jams, and most importantly — save lives.

I think the old excuses that passenger trains can’t make money and will hold up freight trains is something from back in the 1960s and 1970s when railroads were in decline because of our new interstate highway system. I say, anything that can prevent all of these fatalities is worth it.

We did have a bad train wreck down in Spuyten Duyvil area downstate recently, but cars and trucks are still much more dangerous.

It’s too bad the Canadian Pacific tracks through our area couldn’t be used for passenger trains, also. The tracks are welded together (“ribbon rail”) and are well-maintained.

I think passenger trains could also help our local economy and bring in more tourists. If they ever do bring passenger trains back to our area — I’ll be the first to ride!

Robert A. Caffee