Thursday, January 28, 2016

We don't have Zip!

"One down and a few more to go. It is only the central planners who think these things are wise or wanted."

Well, it was a ray of sunshine today. A glimmer of hope. Maybe we have not yet gone over the edge in this state. One of the choo-choo trains which make no sense what-so-ever, looks like it just got derailed. Off the tracks. Dead. Too bad, so sad.

Hats off to the folks in Olmsted County. They made their voices heard loud and clear. And why should they care? Well, the tracks would come right trough some of their land. Plus, it was yet another PUBLIC FUNDED choo-choo train we did not need. Anyone who has made the trip from the Twin Cities down to Rochester knows how easy and pleasant of a drive it is. A train was not necessary and not wanted. So it died.

Now it is time to kill the NLX, which is even more of a boondoggle. This totally unneeded train will go from the Twin Cities up to Duluth. And why? Where is the demand? Ah, good question. Here is the blunt answer. If there were not a casino in Hinkley (one of the stops on the route), this train would never have made it past the dreamer stage. Many people that go to Duluth, go there to go other places as well. Duluth is quite often not a destination, but a stop over point to get gas and food, and then travel further on down the road. 

And let's not forget the Twin Cities LRT lines. The SWLRT has had more problems than Carter's has pills. And it still is limping along. The main purpose of building these LRT lines was to alleviate traffic congestion. Has not helped. And the Blue Line Extension, otherwise known as the Bottineau Line will not help either. A billion here, a billion there. Who cares? It is better than building or improving more roads that we all use.

The only train which has a modicum of logic to me is the high speed rail from the Twin Cities to Chicago. And the only reason I say that is I am a veteran of many plane rides to O'Hare Airport in Chicago. Never, and I mean never, a pleasant experience. But this line also has its problems. Upgrading the tracks to handle high speed transit will not be cheap. Other infrastructure improvements. It will be interesting to see if this line can muster the right kind of support to go forward. 

As for now, it is time to celebrate. Zip is dead. Time to gear up for the next battle.    

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