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Rail and the Election

A few links about the candidates’ stances on mass transit circa summer 2008.

Progress Illinois had a brief piece about the differences between Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama when it comes to mass transit. They also tap a DCist piece from earlier in June that’s worth a read about Obama’s history of supporting mass transit. [Read: Obama vs. McCain on High-Speed Rail – June 17, 2008]

The Boston Globe has an article from the beginning of July on Sen. McCain’s long track-record of anti-Amtrak votes and sentiments. [Read: McCain’s agenda on Amtrak]

For all he does, though, I don’t believe that Obama makes it as central to the campaign as it should be. Look at Europe and Asia and how much they are doing and have done with trains. Imagine how much gas we could save and how much better our lives could be. It should be Obama standing up in front of the tens of thousands proclaiming, “We’ll choose to go at excess of 300 km/h not because it is easy, but because it’s awesome.”

And given that his wife seems to think everyone should just fly around whenever and wherever they need to go, Sen. McCain’s stance is not really surprising. For whatever reason the massive economic boon that a comprehensive system of rail technologies could bring to every region of this country isn’t important to him or the so-called pro-market party.

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