Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Chicken Before the Egg?

One of the transportation options that has been gaining ground within Montana has been the reopening of a southern rail line that would connect many of Montana's cities, from Missoula to Billings. This would be a great idea, opening a new passenger rail line that would actually connect many of Montana's population centers would be a great step forward for a state that relies wholeheartedly on passenger vehicles to get anywhere within the state.

The Missoulian has an article about a group from Bozeman that is pushing for money to be spent on a train assembly plant to be built in Livingston. An interesting idea, but wouldn't it be more useful to get a rail line up and running first before you start spending money on a manufacturing base that would possibly support that line. Especially in the current economic environment, why should the government be spending money to increase manufacturing capacity of anything? I'm sure there are used rail cars out there somewhere that could be used for the southern passenger line.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Maybe the stimulus money for high-speed rail will give a little bump in interest here all around. Building a world-class rail network will take tons of investment and hard labor, but there is so much latent potential I think a little spark may set the whole thing going.

We dreamed of rail travel while in Missoula. We did the drive to to Whitefish a couple of times, but that is totally unreasonable.

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