Scenes from the morning’s walk: Train Tracks

Posted on 29 Jan ’13 by Earl Moore

©Meandering Passage - Earl Moore Photography
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Trains hold an important place in our country’s past and they still have a strong role today in transporting people and goods. They also hold a fascination for me and many others.

I’ve always felt we let out love affair with the individual automobile turn too much attention from investing and developing the much more efficient rail system. However, by size alone the United States has the greatest network of  railways, 140,695 miles (226,427 kms). Russia in second place has 54,156 miles.

©Meandering Passage - Earl Moore Photography

 

These train tracks run adjacent to the park where we take out morning walks.  Forty feet off one of the trails and through the woods finds this view.  I believe only freight is transported on this track.  I’ll have to determine the schedule and see about capturing a photo of a train coming around the far bend one day.

What Others Are Saying

  1. Paul 29 Jan ’13 at 1:37 pm

    Yep. Just imagine how much a train can carry. So much more than fleets and fleets of trucks, for sure. They may not be the most convenient things, but one thing is for sure, there is no other mode of transport that can handle as much!

    When I worked in Dallas, TX, I would ride the train into town and, it seemed, every day that I caught the train, I would marvel at the length and apparent power of the freight trains that were stationed nearby. Pretty cool stuff.
    Paul recently posted… What’s the blooming hurry?

    • Earl 29 Jan ’13 at 2:20 pm

      Paul, When stationed in Europe during my Air Force days I rode the trains regularly and enjoyed it. On business visits to Japan it was also a quick and convient means of getting around. Only in certain large cities in the U.S. is that level of service even approached…at least in regard to passenger service.

      I use to think the train would make a comeback here in the U.S. but now I’m not so sure. It would take terribly high fuel prices to make that a possibility and perhaps not even then with electric cars becoming more feasible.

  2. Paul Maxim 29 Jan ’13 at 2:10 pm

    While the statistics you quote are interesting, I think you’d agree that they don’t tell the whole story. We may have the most in terms of network miles, but we must be way down the list in terms of degree of technical advancement. Our trains are Model T’s compared to European and Japanese systems. We just keep chugging along………

    • Earl 29 Jan ’13 at 2:33 pm

      Thanks for pointing this out…you’re absolutely right, Paul. “My bad,” for not clearly making my point!

      I didn’t offer those statistic’s to indicate any superiority of the U.S. Railway network…only to indicate we have a lot of tracks for such a seeming “secondary” mode of transportation. Those huge miles of tracks could be taken as a negative in terms of maintenance cost overhead from a business perspective.

      Yes, I’ve ridden “Bullet Trains” in both Europe and Japan…we are decades behind.

  3. Monte Stevens 29 Jan ’13 at 4:28 pm

    And, I would venture to suggest we use our trains for cargo more than passenger transport. I have no numbers on that but it seems that way to me. While living in DC I did not have or need a car because of the Metro and the bus system. I that true also in Singapore and Malaysia a few years back.
    Monte Stevens recently posted… Inspiration

    • Earl 30 Jan ’13 at 1:49 pm

      Monte, Same as you I believe most of rail traffic is goods/cargo with only mainline passenger trains. If they were more convient and comfortable I use them more. Thanks!

  4. ken bello 29 Jan ’13 at 4:35 pm

    When we lived in Minnesota a few years ago, then Governor Jesse Ventura, made it a priority to have a light rail system in the Twin Cities. Though not a bullet train, it was a thoroughly modern system but it only serviced a small area. Amtrak started a decades-long high speed network in the Northeast Corridor. I think the future looks bright for trains in the US if things go according to plans. It’s such a practical, as well as romantic, mode of travel.
    Also, I hope you have a moment to check out my two new blogs at 2clicksaway.wordpress.com and lightscatter.wordpress.com. I could use your opinion. Thanks.
    ken bello recently posted… brand new day

    • Earl 30 Jan ’13 at 1:51 pm

      Ken, It seems some regions are developing rail services more then others. I guess that’s normal and simply follows the money trail.

      I’ll take a look at your new blogs…thanks!

  5. Mark 31 Jan ’13 at 7:50 pm

    I always thought it would be great to take a cross country trip via train. I think you are right Earl, and being from Detroit, with very few public transit options, I can affirm the car has certainly kept our train infrastructure behind other nations.
    Mark recently posted… Michigan at 176 years old

    • Earl 2 Feb ’13 at 2:24 pm

      Mark, I’d love a trip like that too…with nice sleeper and observation cars and perhaps a few well planned stops along the way.

  6. Jerry Syracuse 25 Mar ’13 at 8:24 pm

    I always loved trains. Steam trains used to run through my hometown(back before the dinosaurs died). Still try to ride the ones still running as tourist trains.

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