Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tech Tuesday; A thought on mass transport

Vaguely tech Tuesday; related I've had a thought on what would make mass transport (namely trains) less stupid, obnoxious regulations and such notwithstanding.

The US is very heavily vehicle dependent, outside of the major cities. Wherever you go, you're going to need to rent a car or have friends who can give you a lift. Back when mass transport was the only real way to get around in any semblance of comfort, this was less of a problem. You'd just climb your horse (you have a horse, right?) into the stable car, and relax in relative comfort for a steam propelled journey. Upon reaching the rough vicinity of your destination, you'd saddle up and head out on your way, to your actual destination.

Why can't we do something like that now? The steampunk/dieselpunk in me wants to travel by train, but I want to be able to actually go places when I arrive (also Amtrak is terrible and basically the only option). At minimum, allowing scooters/motorcycles to be used in this manner would make a great deal of sense and be pretty easy, but in days gone by there were things for shipping cars by train. Usually it was more a "to the dealer" kind of job, but you can't tell me in this day and age we can't make what amounts to a land-based car ferry.

The motorcycle route is probably the most prudent, at least for the travelling individual or couple. Now that I have a job, I'll start working on my motorcycle that isn't a rideable deathtrap, and see where things go from there. 

1 comment:

  1. One reason passenger rail service in the US is teh suxxor is AmTrak doesn't own an inch of line outside it's commuter routes.

    The companies who do own the track are doing fine with their freight only business model (which is nearing saturation on capacity as it is.)

    There's actually books and books on why rail for passengers doesn't work in the US; but a good place to start looking is how popular the robber barons who created it made themselves in the process.