That headline in The Economist had me worried the moment I read it.
I knew Strickland’s 3-C commuter rail project was a boondoggle and doomed to failure anyway. Now on top of it, it’s going to damage our efforts to transport products for purchase.
Before we get into the whys, let’s check out just how important efficient transportation of products by freight is to our economy.
So how will Ted’s 3-C plan damage freight productivity? Check it out:
The trouble for the freight railways is that almost all the planned new fast intercity services will run on their tracks. Combining slow freight and fast passenger trains is complicated. With some exceptions on Amtrak’s Acela and North East corridor tracks, level crossings are attuned to limits of 50mph for freight and 80mph for passenger trains. But Mr Obama’s plan boils down to running intercity passenger trains at 110mph on freight tracks. Add the fact that freight trains do not stick to a regular timetable, but run variable services at short notice to meet demand, and the scope for congestion grows.
Their main complaint, however, is that one Amtrak passenger train at 110mph will remove the capacity to run six freight trains in any corridor. Nor do they believe claims that PTC, due to be in use by 2015, will increase capacity by allowing trains to run closer together in safety. So it will cost billions to adapt and upgrade the lines to accommodate both a big rise in freight traffic and an unprecedented burgeoning of intercity passenger services.
Great. Just great.
Yet another way Ted’s wasteful plan will damage Ohio’s economy.