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Rooney: A Comeback For Trains?

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  • Robert J. Matter
    http://www.cbsnews.com/now/story/0,1597,312944-412,00.shtml Rooney: A Comeback For Trains? -With People Afraid To Fly, Rails May Return -Increased Train Travel
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3, 2001
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      http://www.cbsnews.com/now/story/0,1597,312944-412,00.shtml

      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 don’t
      understand that. Railroads have been in
      financial trouble for 50 years. Why
      doesn't Congress give railroads $15
      billion?

      What ever happened to travel by train
      anyway?

      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
      boiled down.

      There are thousands of miles of empty
      railroad tracks running contiguously with
      crowded highways.

      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
      biggest truck.

      Using railroads would reduce our use of
      oil.

      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
      they wanted.

      © MMI, CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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