Sunday, May 10, 2009

Choo Choo Ch'Boogie

The Big Lug Nut took a special train (is that anything like the short bus?)
from West Des Moines' Valley Junction to Downtown Des Moines in celebration of National Train Day.

I should have known BLN was a train fan, what with his big caboose and the scientific community is united in that fact.

BLN is hyping rail service between Des Moines and Chicago.

He predicts, "We could have Iowans from all over the state come down on Saturday morning to enjoy our farmer's market."

I'm not exactly sure how rail service through eastern Iowa brings Iowans from all over the state?

I don't see people riding in from Council Bluffs, Sioux City or Mason City for a market that runs to noon.

BLN also estimates that extending passenger rail service to Des Moines would bring 800 construction jobs to Iowa over the next three to four years.

Keep in mind that guesstimate comes from a man who said his I-Jobs borrowing scam would create 30,000 jobs.

That figure quickly fell to 22,000 and then 21,000 before an Iowa State University economics professor put the number closer to 4,050.

BLN also said, "It will be a very competitive option for travel, especially when you compare it to airfare."

Amtrak's, best fare for a roundtrip Osceola (a minimum of 30 miles from Des Moines) to Chicago, leaving June 1 and returning June 8, is $106 per person for a six to seven hour trip.

Orbitz, for the same dates, had a best airfare of $239 per person (Des Moines to O'Hare) a trip they say takes one hour fifteen minutes.

Of course, Amtrak receives federal funds of $1.3 billion per year.

Nancy Richardson (director of the Iowa Department of Transportation) tell us...

"We've got federal and state funds, we've got heightened interest, we've got people who understand the benefits of a passenger rail system. They understand we need more than cars to have a good transportation system."

Yet, Fiberals remain all talk about mass transit.

My friend Cal, Freedom's pal, wonders when we're going to subsidize the horse and buggy or chariot industry?


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