Monday, November 21, 2011

Amtrak Foot Warmer?

You may have noted when driving by Maine Street Station in recent weeks that concrete work for the boarding platform is under way.  Here are a couple of views we took on a recent journey past the area.



There are two widely separated ramps already poured, setting the stage for a rather long spanning platform to accommodate the 100 or so passengers projected to arrive every day by the consultants we use to justify otherwise unjustifiable spending, or more appropriately, speculation with other people’s money. 

Whether it’s five trains a day with 20 passengers each, or two trains a day with 50 passengers each, who knows?  And whose counting anyway when the funding is ‘free?’

We heard recently that the ramp will be 400 feet long (think a football field plus end zones.)  That’s why it’s virtually impossible to capture the grandeur of the entire structure in a single view.  Imagine a world class Olympic sprinter needing something like 10 seconds to dash from one end to the other.

And wonder of wonders, we understand that a portion of it will be heated, no doubt to melt snow and prevent ice build-up.

So if you should find yourself in town this winter, and need to get your tootsies nice and toasty, you’ll be able to head on over to the station platform and get them as warm as roasted chestnuts.

For those of you who support the Amtrak ‘experiment’ because it will save the earth by reducing the number of cars on the road, please make sure you revise your calculations to include the energy costs of heating the platform.  It might help remind you of why you don’t have a heated driveway to deal with snow and ice.

Here at Side, we’ve had ‘cold feet’ about the whole train thing since it began, convinced it will be a forever subsidized sop to the local constituency, suitable for self-serving publicity events, photos, and grandiose campaign statements, but not much else. 

And if you think about it, another income redistribution scheme.  Which to many, makes it a wonder of wonders.  You know; social and economic justice and all that.

Go figure.

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  1. And next year they will appropriate funds for the placement of hitching posts and a waiting room for the stagecoach passengers.

    I've also heard that the vocational school is soon to start a class for blacksmiths and the Community College will offer a coarse of study in animal husbandry.

  2. This, to me, represents the height of arrogance displayed by those who allocate "our" money so freely.

  3. Frankly, Mitch, I couldn't agree more. And if I did, the PC police would surely haul me away.