Over a month ago, I emailed the White House advising President Biden that as a conservative there were few things we would agree on, but one thing we could agree on is our love of trains.  

So, I was pleased to see that $80 billion of the proposed infrastructure bill are slated for Amtrak upgrades and extension of several routes.

It appears while we as a superpower are involved worldwide as the military and political need arises, at the same time, our infrastructure is crumbling.  

A young junior officer named Eisenhower, in charge of moving a military convoy on a training mission across the U.S., saw first-hand the challenges because of poor roads. When he was Supreme Allied Commander during World War II, he saw the benefits of the Autobahn highway system in Germany.

We have our current Interstate Highway System largely due to the vision of President Eisenhower. Our troops and assets would need to move quickly across our country in case of a nuclear attack or other national emergencies. These wide margins of mowed grass along our interstate system would provide camping areas for the movement of troops.

For a world power, our country is behind in high-speed rail service. One example is Italy where trains travel at speeds of 186 mph.

Rail service should have parity with air service. I do not agree with the assessment by some that it will not be used. Years ago, we should have had at least high-speed rail service on two routes — from Boston to Miami and Seattle to Los Angeles. I believe if you make passenger rail service fast, convenient and reasonably priced the public will respond.

Railroads will bring us closer together as a country and give us a renewed appreciation of what we have.

Doug Spillman


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