Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Train of Thought

The Burgh Diaspora has a nice little post about the Amtrak high-speed rail plan and how it relates to the Burgh.

Pittsburgh is increasingly isolated. The historical geography of the region lends itself to a particularly fierce form parochialism and is partly to blame for anemic in-migration. Pittsburgh desperately needs to improve its inter-urban connectivity, especially with cities outside of the United States. Domestically, which high-speed rail route would best benefit Pittsburgh?

Paz chips in his two cents:
No one is going to admit it, but Cleveburgh is probably a more important line than the Keystone corridor (and this is coming from someone who goes East far more often then he goes West). A Cleveland-Pittsburgh line is more in keeping with the major city-paring lines like the Hiawatha in Milwaukee or the Lincoln service in Illinois. Keystone makes more sense politically, but I think Cleveburgh makes more sense from an economic and cultural standpoint.
Actually, it's surprising that Jason Altmire is pushing the Cleveland/Pittsburgh corridor.

No, wait... what's the opposite of surprising? Yeah: obvious.

I mean, Altmire gets that there's a Regional connection between Cleveland and Pittsburgh... and that if this rail line is built, PA-04 is going to benefit enormously, not just from the construction itself but also from the competition/collaboration that can result between the two Regions.

Amtrak, of course, believes that because we are in Pennsylvania, we're obviously to be lumped in with Philadelphia.* While to some extent there may be some truth to that, there will probably be less Regional cross-pollination.

What Altmire has the opportunity to do, however, is make Pittsburgh a major transit node, linking Chicago and the Midwest with Phillie, D.C. and the East... you know, like Switzerland.

Or Breezewood.

* Amtrak is obviously unaware of the existence of the Great Pop/Soda War of '19, between the East and Midwest, in which the loser got Pittsburgh.**

** This is a joke. The loser got Toledo.***

*** This is also a joke. It was the Toledo War.


MH said...

I won't be going to Philly anytime soon. I've already seen the Liberty Bell and the steps that Rocky climbed. What else is there?

P.S. If they can tell you are an out-of-towner, locals will try to get you to go into the building whose steps Rocky climbed. Luckily, my cabbie warned me the building is for the sewer authority offices.

Conservative Mountaineer said...

Jeez.. all thing "hope" about high-speed rail will only allow the Maglev parasites to live a little longer. Forget it. It will NEVER happen.. however, we'll waste $x Million, no make that, $x BILLION chasing a wild-a** concept.

NutellaonToast said...

I've always wondered what it was like to live in Breezewood instead of just stopping there for gas and Taco Bell.

I think it must be a lot like purgatory.