Train Travel Is Important For The Valley
June 23, 2016
Friday’s announcement that Amtrak will be increasing
its train runs in the valley to seven times a day could
not come at a better time. Train travel for the future of
this valley is so important.
It also comes during the summer when vacationers will have
the opportunity to make more and better use of Amtrak, one
of the best bargains that this nation offers.
The other reason is that the number of cars on our roads
and the pollutants they leave are just staggering. We can’t
keep pace with the demand for travel in this state if we
expect to accomplish this with more roads and more cars.
One of the worst things to ever happen in California was
when the gas companies conned the public into thinking train
travel wasn’t important, and they talked cities into
tearing up their rails. Now we wish we had those rails back.
While Amtrak is not the total answer to California’s
transit problem, it is a start in the right direction.
We feel that it is essential to link Amtrak with BART (Bay
Area Rapid Transit) to take passengers to the Bay Area.
The future of a High Speed Rail system is still obscure.
Will it ever be built? Will the trains ever run 200 mph?
Will people use them?
These are questions which only time will tell.
We are not saying stop spending money on High Speed Rail.
Once the tracks are in, they can be used by all kinds of
trains; high speed, medium speed, or just improved regular
After spending three weeks in South Korea, we noticed that
the way people were moved in Seoul was with an excellent
subway system with six different lines taking passengers
anywhere in the area. The cost was only about one $1, and
the trains went for miles in every direction.
Korea was lucky because it got to start all new after the
Our valley is built up, and it is unfortunate a high speed
rail system will take up farm land, however, the competition
between urban sprawl and farmland has been going on for
decades in California.
Just think how much farmland has been taken over by roadways.
Last Friday when Amtrak unveiled its new seven daily runs
at a special event held at the Merced Amtrak station, almost
every civic leader and nearly every political representative
was present. They all wanted to show consolidated support
for the improvement which would take more people off the
roads and put them in trains.
We cheer the improvement, and want to see more like it.