More Rail!

To be filed under "Worse Things On Which to Spend Federal Revenue; Few Better"—high-speed rail.

Or, for that matter, light rail.

Or commuter rail.

Or any kind of passenger rail.

I know it ZOMG SOCIALIST!!!11!!eleventy! to suggest that the government should be in the business of public transport to voyager le country, but I'm going to suggest it, anyway. Because I've been all over this damn country care of insane summer holidays with my insane parents, traversing the American east, west, and everything in between in various unreliable vehicles that dropped transmissions and blew tires in exotic locales like DuBois, Wyoming and Adair, Iowa, looking out of windows at mountains and valleys and mesas and amber waves of grain, seeing skyscrapers and impossibly wide rivers and herds of wild stallion, hearing every American accent you can imagine, and I wouldn't trade that shit for anything.

Trains, lots of trains with fares significantly cheaper than airfare, would open up that experience to more families where the parents aren't teachers with lots of vacation and endless time to drive from here to there. Backpacking across America could be an alternative for American college students who can't afford to backpack across Europe, or a nice prelude in one's own big backyard for those who can. It would also create a whole new tourist industry for travel in America on the cheap.

It's a brilliant, beautiful country. I don't see the downside to our government making it more accessible to our visitors, much less its own citizens.

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