walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

more NYT rail coverage: incrementalism vs. new right of way

http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/11/06/06greenwire-stimulus-sparks-scuffle-among-high-speed-rail-16795.html

It looks like the incrementalists are attempting to freeze the high speed dedicated right-of-way new technology crowd out before the debate gets underway. The incrementalists are (probably rightly) concerned that if the rail community does not present a united front, other modes and rail skeptics in general will leap on the disunification as an excuse to not put any money into anything rail related. The incrementalists are accustomed to making do with dribs and drabs; they are more dedicated to not losing what they have than they are worried about failing to get everything they could possibly get.

Nothing unreasonable going on here -- altho it would be nice if we could actually have the France/Japan vs. Germany argument in a less dilute form. Both approaches can (and have) worked, altho if you genuinely want to take mode share away from airlines, dedicated works better than incrementalist (because you get higher average speeds along with the likely higher max speed). Either approach will take mode share away from asphalt/single passenger car, thus improving things from a cost and/or climate perspective.
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