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no more train....

Discussion in 'Metal Heads' started by shinyblackwater, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. shinyblackwater

    shinyblackwater Junior Member

    Joined: Feb 19, 2005 Messages: 133 Likes Received: 0
    Sunday, February 13, 2005

    Loss of trains a topic worth railing about

    Copyright © 2005 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.

    The bell rang and the red-and-white-striped crossing arms dropped down. We were all stuck in the middle of a Balkan-cold snowy day, trapped for what seemed an eternity, as an endless parade of empty boxcars rumbled by.

    As I sat there reading the graffiti from different states, I suddenly became aware that the largest contributing factor in the dividing of America was symbolized before my eyes.

    We don't know who we are anymore.

    The Irish built the tracks from Virginia to Missouri and to the west, learning along the way what barbecue tasted like in Arkansas, and that not everyone in Illinois was Irish Catholic.

    Rebels met up with Yankees who migrated to Kansas, as did Germans and Poles to Wisconsin. They traded sauerbraten for sourdough and corned beef and cabbage. The railroad ran like a big, iron matchmaker through America, blending flavors and accents.

    Irish boys married German girls, and we all got to know one another, all held together by the steam that passed through our towns and the melodies played by a penny arcade of crossing bells and mournful whistles. The American railroad was heroic needlepoint. It was native glue that held us all together.

    Travelers learned firsthand what the Navajos wore and how they lived. You could step off the train and have doughnuts and coffee in Ames, Iowa, chili in Tempe, Ariz., rice and beans in Taos, N.M. They saw the fire of the steel furnaces in Pittsburgh, and how the Mississippi changed under moonlight.

    Today, most of us fly over these places, sealed in steel tubes; we arrive in air malls and take tinted-window cabs to hotels. America is still there, but few of us are looking down.

    You can get to San Francisco faster than your grandfather did, but you can't see the faces of the family wedding guests coming out of the Baptist church in Salinas or smell the river in Tuscaloosa.

    The big cars that rolled through the heartlands became sleeker but fewer. America roared into the new century, and the passenger train started to fade.

    In the New York Times, the funeral knell was sounded by Norman Y. Mineta, transportation secretary under the banner of Chief George Bush: "After 34 years of Amtrak operating losses and $29 billion in taxpayers' subsidies, it is clear that the current model of passenger rail service is flawed and unsustainable."

    Unsustainable.

    It has been predicted that in 20 years or less, there will no longer be passenger-train travel in America. It has become "unsustainable."

    Coach travel once brought us together. We traded snapshots and told stories of our home towns. We got to know each other.

    We were once united by the blue highways, the back roads we motored through, but gas and oil prices have made even that travel "unsustainable." And the few who do drive from East to West zoom past the real America, never leaving the six-lane highways. They don't see the workers sweating in the lettuce fields in the Salinas Valley, or awaken in the middle of the night to peer out the train window to see a baker go to work at midnight.

    We're red and blue people now, suspicious of our accents, religions and manners, ripped from our front porches and park benches, plugged in, wired up and tuned in to the networks of our choice.

    If you turn off the electronic scream machines, you can still hear it, the lonesome wail of the ghost train, the iron horse that once united us. Like the freedoms we took for granted and are losing daily, it has become "unsustainable," and we have become strangers. We don't know who the hell we are anymore.

    J.P. Devine is a free-lance writer who lives in Waterville.

    My Webpage


    really nothing I didnt know... but still found it interesting... enjoy the read or post your bitches....
     
  2. Overtime

    Overtime Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Apr 22, 2003 Messages: 13,986 Likes Received: 311
    thats a great read...
     
  3. Gunm

    Gunm Banned

    Joined: Aug 31, 2003 Messages: 12,427 Likes Received: 1
    it's alright
     
  4. kingofshame

    kingofshame New Jack

    Joined: Oct 13, 2004 Messages: 24 Likes Received: 0
    it's the truth....nothing better than hearing a whistle....seein it commin...gettin dizzy trying to read every inch....catching a fr8 you long forgot existed dont even remember painting.....yeah. ohhhh...and the write up aint bad either.....no one cares bout shit these days....to busy milking or mendin there fucked up little lives to even stop a second and look. american needs more trains...less cars...look at europe....they pull it off....fuck a new SUV ....new hondas and dubs. ahhhhh!!!!......it'll only get worse. but at least i know.
     
  5. EgoManiakal

    EgoManiakal Senior Member

    Joined: Jul 14, 2003 Messages: 1,094 Likes Received: 0
    unsustainable in america, but in europe they have passanger trains going in and out everywhere. How do they pull it off and here its obsolete?
     
  6. Schnitzel

    Schnitzel Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Jan 16, 2004 Messages: 8,821 Likes Received: 384
    Distances are shorter & people are more patient in europe..
    no diss intended to americans!
    it's the same in australia!
     
  7. shinyblackwater

    shinyblackwater Junior Member

    Joined: Feb 19, 2005 Messages: 133 Likes Received: 0
    plus we dont wanna pay for it over here.... Europe pays for that shit with taxes....when was the last time the USGovernment asked you for a train tax so they could build a sustainable rail system so you wouldn't have to drive your inefficient gas guggler.
     
  8. NOT GUILTY

    NOT GUILTY Member

    Joined: Jun 2, 2004 Messages: 378 Likes Received: 0
    THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL.......BUT ILL HAVE TO DISAGREE WITH THE END TO ALL PASSENGER RAIL SERVICE IN AMERICA.....MY CITY IS JUST NOW DOING STUDIES FOR HIGH SPEED & LIGHT RAIL PROJECTS ,AND ITS LOOKING LIKE WERE DEF GOING TO GET THEM.....ALSO JUST TRY TO IMAGINE NYC OR PHILLY WITH NO REGIONAL COMMUTER TRAINS .......I THINK TRAINS ARE ALWAYS GONNA BE HERE,,,,,AT LEAST FOR THE REST OF OUR LIFETIMES.....
     
  9. kingofshame

    kingofshame New Jack

    Joined: Oct 13, 2004 Messages: 24 Likes Received: 0
    yup yup....another thing....more trains less semi's haulin ass....i know my area is full as hell with em...accidents all over...blah blah....i see just as many lines haulin trailers as boxcars,tankers,carry containrs....passenger trains would work....and should work and "we" the people of this state need to make em work....less traffic,pollution, all together better.....wake up fuckholes!
     
  10. GnomeToys

    GnomeToys Elite Member

    Joined: Jun 24, 2003 Messages: 2,616 Likes Received: 4
    I've looked into travel by Amtrak on a couple of vacations I've took. The result was always the same - air or bus was cheaper. Granted, a greyhound bus is sheer hell, and airport security is annoying for a minute, but it just wasn't worth the extra cost to catch an amtrak at some bizzarre hour of the night and make 9 million stops on the way there.
     
  11. ghostvandal

    ghostvandal Senior Member

    Joined: Mar 9, 2003 Messages: 1,644 Likes Received: 0
    it wouldnt make any sense, your taxes are already going the most of it in bombs and money for army to smash iraq to get more gas

    over here there are so many trucks its always like a rush hour trafic jam on the highways, and our roads have holes that goes to a foot deep! less trucks more freights!© i think im gonna start doing bumper stickers
     
  12. shinyblackwater

    shinyblackwater Junior Member

    Joined: Feb 19, 2005 Messages: 133 Likes Received: 0
  13. shinyblackwater

    shinyblackwater Junior Member

    Joined: Feb 19, 2005 Messages: 133 Likes Received: 0
    bumper stickers that is...
     
  14. FuckdatshitD1

    FuckdatshitD1 New Jack

    Joined: Sep 18, 2006 Messages: 3 Likes Received: 0
    huh? man i saw hit up some reefer trains today there sick
     
  15. Fr8fiend

    Fr8fiend New Jack

    Joined: Mar 16, 2004 Messages: 15 Likes Received: 0
    Great article ! We always try to travel by amtrak when we have the time and can afford it, it's worth supporting. Not to mention all the freights to be seen along the way and the endless pieces under every bridge everywhere along every line. The current white house administration that we are suffering through is completely auto/highway centered, ruled by the oil corporations. They are unsustainable. With gas hovering between 2.50 and 3 dollars a gallon and air pollution at ridiculous levels, we need a vastly expanded rail transportation network now more than ever. Hopefully, when this regime leaves office in a couple years, we will get a more realistic, open-minded administration that will put America back on the proper, truly sustainable track. Pun intended.
     
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