Reviving the InterUrban

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by pettyfog, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. pettyfog

    pettyfog Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    I'm only going to comment on the Ohio portion of the 'High Speed Rail' porky stimulus.

    When I was a little kid in the early fifties, my dad showed me the ruins of the 'InterUrban' train roadbed which ran near our farm. I was surprised to find it had only been abandoned for fifteen years even though that was a whole five years before I was born.
    Forever in little kid time.
    Dad waxed poetic on how - in the early thirties - it only took a little over an hour to get from near that point to downtown Columbus. Same as the new line is projected.

    You'll be reading a lot on how the Interstate killed it.. or GM killed it. Neither is true.

    That line, along with most of the type went out of business in the midthirties.. 20 years before the interstate. And during the depression. It was built during prosperous times.

    Actually the Ford Model A killed it as much as any single element. The Model T though 'loved' was not a 'road car'. The model A was.

    Other inconvenient facts:
    Local politics contributed. Every little burg along the route petitioned for a stop. Every stop added time and frustration for the rider. That wont change.

    Riding the InterUrban was a 'Class Flag'. You wouldnt find 'Professionals' riding it. Or those who consider themselves 'Professional'. much like the Subway in NY. And even BART has money problems doesnt it.

    So I can go from downtown Cincy to downtown Cleveland, stopping in downtown Columbus. Then what?
    - There is definitely a 'professional gentrification' taking place in all the central core urban areas. Now that parking your car there is relatively cheap. Because all the shopping has moved out.

    High Speed Rail has been plumped since the early seventies, and before that.. my HS let out classes to watch the 'Train of the Future' pass through in about 1958. It was capable of 150 MPH. Went by at about 40 MPH.
    The proposed system will average 45 MPH city-city.

    Negates significant rationality for the InterState system.. which was 'vulnerability {or not} to sabotage'. Interesting at this point in time, huh?

    'High Speed Rail' is a boondoggle. Even the most rosy projections shows a need for state subsidies for operation.. Ohio's share after the 400 million construction costs which will employ MAYBE 5000 union workers, is 17 million. laughable for the scale of the operation. COTA {columbus} alone is well into 2 million subsidy.. and it's still scaling back.

    This is yet another program that looks good on paper...and everyone wants.. for 'the other guys'.

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