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Letter: Anti-rail Menlo Park NIMBY on why rail is "obsolete"

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  • 2/13 Menlo Park Almanac
    Published Wednesday, February 13, 2008, by the Menlo Park Almanac Letters to the Editor Lloyd misses point of rail plan criticism Ordinarily, I wouldn t step
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 14, 2008
      Published Wednesday, February 13, 2008, by the Menlo Park Almanac

      Letters to the Editor

      Lloyd misses point of rail plan criticism

      Ordinarily, I wouldn't step into a war of words over trivia. It
      started with a Jan. 30 Almanac letter written by Katie Ferrick
      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/37172>, which made
      some major, telling points and complimented Menlo Park Mayor Andy
      Cohen for his articulate support of urban mass transit.

      A week later a letter <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/37255>
      from Arthur Lloyd, one of the local grand old men of railroads,
      rather gracelessly sought to belittle Ms. Ferrick's larger arguments
      about the inefficacy of the Dumbarton rail plan by seeking to correct
      her ostensible errors of date. Why he would bother to do so is
      puzzling.

      In regard to Diesel's eponymous invention: the actual copyright date
      is 1893, when Diesel published his theory and design. That, Mr.
      Lloyd, sounds like the 19th century to me. However, that is not
      really the issue, is it?

      The issue is that steel wheels, running on steel tracks fastened to
      wooden rail ties, embedded in gravel called ballast, are indeed an
      18th-19th century technology, whether driven by wood-burning steam
      power or any other engine type. It is not the date or type of engine
      that makes the railroads obsolete; it's heavy "grand, old" steel-on-
      steel rail technology in general.

      Ms. Ferrick's point is that the Dumbarton rail plan is a giant step
      backward insofar as it fails to meet the region's transit needs. Mr.
      Lloyd goes on to compliment Caltrain's fuel efficiency, but says
      nothing about the fact that Caltrain is merely a single thread of
      what should be a complex network of multi-modal transit. And, that
      single thread is not good enough.

      Martin Engel
      Stone Pine Lane, Menlo Park


      [BATN: See also:

      Letter: Facts about diesel locomotives & Caltrain fuel efficiency
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/37255

      Letter: Dumbarton rail NIMBY praises Menlo Park mayor
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/37172

      Comment: I'll say anything to oppose HSR, trains near my condo
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/36062

      Comment: Trackside Menlo Park NIMBY on "scary" push for HSR
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/35184

      Fantasy: Fast, easy, door-to-door transit everywhere for everyone
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/34201 ]
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