Rooney: A Comeback For Trains?
-With People Afraid To Fly, Rails May Return
-Increased Train Travel Would Reduce Oil Consumption
NEW YORK, Sept. 30, 2001
(CBS) Weekly commentary by CBS News
Correspondent Andy Rooney:
Some people are afraid of everything.
Other people aren't afraid of anything. A
lot of Americans are afraid to fly now
and it's ridiculous. You're more likely to
win the lottery than die in a plane crash.
Fear of flying is bad for the airline
business - they've been in financial
trouble for years anyway and it got
worse on September 11th.
Airlines have treated us so badly over
the years, it's hard to feel sorry for
them. You feel sorry for the good people
who work for airlines.
Congress has voted to give them $15
billion in emergency relief and I dont
understand that. Railroads have been in
financial trouble for 50 years. Why
doesn't Congress give railroads $15
What ever happened to travel by train
This country is dotted with abandoned or
little used railroad stations. Cute stores
have moved in.
In New York, they tore down the
magnificent Pennsylvania Station.
Michigan Central Station in Detroit, an
architectural gem, was abandoned;its
idle tracks rust away waiting to be
There are thousands of miles of empty
railroad tracks running contiguously with
Our heavy loads should be moved on
steel rails instead of rubber tires on
highways where trucks play accordion
with the cars.
There are 1,345,000 railway freight cars
in the United States. Each one can carry
several times as much cargo as the
Using railroads would reduce our use of
It takes 1,500 gallons of fuel for a plane
to fly from New York to Chicago with
100 people on board. A train with 1,000
people can make the same trip on fewer
than 300 gallons.
The United States is way behind in train
travel as anyone knows who's been to
Europe or Japan. Trains everywhere are
better, faster and more luxurious.
There's no greater feeling of luxury and
satisfaction than being whisked 500
miles closer to your destination while
you sleep on a fast-moving train.
Trains are seldom delayed or cancelled.
They run in sunshine or in snowstorm,
oblivious to wind and water.
If the government is going to give the
airlines $15 billion, it ought to run the
airlines. Or maybe jump-start travel by
giving taxpayers $15 billion worth of
tickets to go where they wanted how
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