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Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:09 PM

Hereís the depressing reality of train travel in America [View all]


from Grist:



Hereís the depressing reality of train travel in America
By Sarah Laskow


Remember that beautiful map that imagined what the countryís high-speed rail network could look like? Well, in case you felt happy or optimistic after looking at it, hereís a map, via Atlantic Cities, that shows the depressing reality of American rail:



Those bubbles represent the ridership for various Amtrak stops around the country. Itís no secret that the Northeast Corridor line is the systemís most popular, but you can get a sense of how much more used it is than any other bit of the system. And long distance, cross-country lines? They barely register.

To a certain extent, the more popular stops just denote more populous areas. But thatís not the whole story, as Atlantic Cities explains:

Texas, for example, has three of Americaís ten largest cities: Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. But the inexplicable lack of a direct rail connection between Houston and Dallas makes the state look, on Hicksí map, emptier than Missouri. In fact, the nationís second-largest state had only 465,000 riders in 2012. Missouri, meanwhile, had 739,000.

Other states suffer from a similar routing problem. Ohio, though crossed by regional routes on its northern and southern borders, has no train at all connecting the stateís major cities. It has one-fifth the passenger train traffic of neighboring Michigan.


In other words, American rail is failing because itís ass-backwards. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://grist.org/list/heres-the-depressing-reality-of-train-travel-in-america/



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