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home : letters : letters May 24, 2016

8/7/2014 2:58:00 PM
ZipRail not a good idea

To the editor:

The ZipRail line is not a good idea, even though it has been studied. Any study is made up of selective facts from the past and optimistic speculation from the future. It is, many times, an apology made in advance of an error.

A passenger line between the Twin Cities and Rochester, with no stops, is like a grilled cheese sandwich with no cheese. What is next? A super-highway between St. Cloud and Fargo with no off-ramps? The state needs this line like Death Valley needs a tanning booth.

Rail lines are important. They built this country. Then, in the 1950s they went into a decline. The automobile industry and federal designers had a vision, fleets of semi-trailers roaming the highways and eternal gridlock in all major US cities. They are close to the ideal. Obviously, more freight needs to be moved by rail. More travelers need to be seated in observation cars. Questions of sensible routes, funding and public approval must be answered. Trains must become more important. The zip line is not the way to aid this transformation.


Phillip Hammes

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