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Light rail to improve America’s declining infrastructure

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Due to the U.S.’s vast size, in which there’s sometimes no city for 100s of miles, it admittedly doesn’t make sense for there to be high speed trains. In America, as opposed to the rest of the world, it’s more convenient for citizens to take a plane instead of a train. In Europe, taking a train for a daily commute or vacation in another European country is convenient because of the high volume of train stations. However, in the U.S., many cities and towns do not have enough stations or density to make trains advantageous. Furthermore, the speed of many American trains, or lack thereof, further dissuade people from choosing trains.

America’s infrastructure and city layouts aren’t a favorable setup for high speed rail, but creating it would make America more efficient and thus more competitive with other countries. Implementing rail will take time, money, and lots of reshaping but with the results of global warming emerging and being confirmed, now is the best time to invest in the U.S.’s infrastructure.

If a train station was built in Chapel Hill that connects passengers with Durham and Raleigh, it would have the potential to decrease the amount of traffic that bombards the Triangle at rush hour. Fortunately, Durham already has an Amtrak station, which is an American passenger railroad service, and the developing Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit project, which is one of the only two proposals for light rail, to be passed in America. By 2025 or 2026, North Carolina will see the opening of an electric powered light rail line. This will be extremely helpful for traffic purposes. Roads in the Triangle are traveled incessantly due to local universities and the booming population they draw in. The Light Rail Project may not compare to Japan’s Maglev, one of the world’s fastest trains, but this is a step forward that needs to be made if our area wants to be more efficient, united and modern.

On a national scale, putting high speed trains in action that connect major urban areas such as Washington, New York, and Boston or L.A. and San Francisco would create a level of unity that the U.S. does not have. It’s extremely time-consuming for Americans to drive between these cities, and planes have become the primary method of long distance transportation. Creating a high speed train system would be much more economical and would potentially deplete this sense of insurmountable distance by uniting the cities. Furthermore, the use of trains is simply more logical and environmentally conscious than the use of cars. Trains don’t pollute the air nearly as much, are more energy efficient, less noisy, don’t cause traffic, are safer, and economize space.

If you would like to learn more about the subject, go to http://ourtransitfuture.com/projects/durham-orange/ .

Photo courtesy of http://dilemmaxdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/triangle-transit-durham.jpg

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