It has been in the news recently about how more and more people are riding on Amtrak trains these days. I wish there were more passenger trains nationwide. Passenger trains have not gone through Oneonta since the early 1960s. At that time, the automobile took over and our new interstate highway system was formed.
Enter the year 2013. A lot of people can’t afford a car and $4 a gallon for gas, and many people sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic going nowhere. More passenger trains could save lives because more people on the highways are dying every year — dying by the thousands. I think the old stigmas that passenger trains “aren’t needed” is an “old-timers’” wise tale.
Freight railroads are worried about liability issues and scheduling, but I think this is blown out of proportion. Trains do have accidents, but it’s not nearly as big of a problem as highway fatalities. In fact, it’s not even close. And even when there is a train accident, many times its because of an impatient motorist.
In light of the fact that more people are riding Amtrak, I say “bring on more passenger trains.”