Fifteen years of dreaming has prepared me well, for what I’ve cast my eyes upon this morning. I forged a path through the reaching spires of blackberry, against the prickly barbs of holly, over the long-dead fallen limbs of climbing roses, and lastly, with great anticipation, brushing by an old friend of a friend in Yew, I stare through chained links of metal.
What lays in the gulch below? A river of metal, a track of steel. Today right now, I saw the speed train ….. again. Yesterday was the first time, the day before as a hope, a plan, and an anticipation. From when I left my home in the States to when I landed here, one thing I sought to witness….other than a smile on her face.
Why is this a big one for me? Why have I wanted to see this, hear it, feel the rumble under my feet, the crackle of electricity in the air from the Maglev trains of Germany, the thunder down the track from afar making the coffee ripple at the table…. How can I bring it back with me? How can I convince the others of my home to prioritize this form of infrastructure on our continent? Seems like an easy sell:
Dear Country Founded, Unified, Settled, Robbed, and Developed….by Rail-
In this era of economic instability and curious financial failure, we need to adapt to a changing market climate. We need to follow the example laid out for us by our ancestors on our continent, and the world over. Our cousins on other soils have built and are building, efficient, sustainable, and convenient forms of infrastructure, that make our national transportation system look like a dumb toy with missing parts.
Don’t get me wrong. Diesel Semi-Trailers are cool in my book, for gosh sakes…. their big trucks right? Our national road system is the best, if you wish to consider food deserts, impermeable surfaces, erosion, and water pollution/ run-off admirable. If the cost of diesel fuel in dollars keeps going up….and the cost of pollution repairs continues to skyrocket….and the roads/bridges continue to fail exponentially and expensively…..
When did we build our first transcontinental track? Who is going to give me twenty thousand quid, so I can take a team of go-to guys on a national tour of our train stations? I should bring these: Gandy Dancers, Traqueros, Engineers, Station Masters, Stewards, and more. Maybe two crews of five, like below.
- Men Wanted! High Wages!
- Permanent Employment!
“We know when we put our money into these advertisements that they are— well, part of a pernicious system of sabotage. We know that we are not going to give permanent employment. But we lure men with false promises, and they come. At the end of four months we lay them off, strangers in a strange country, many of them thousands of miles from their old homes. We wash our hands of them. They come with golden dreams, expecting in many cases to build homes, rear families, become substantial American citizens. After a few weeks, their savings gone, the single men grow restless and start moving; a few weeks more and the married men bid their families good-by. They take to the road hunting for jobs, planning to send for their families when they find steady work. Some of them swing onto the freight-trains and beat their way to the nearest town, are broke when they get there, find the labor market oversupplied, and, as likely as not, are thrown into jail as vagrants. Some of them hit the trail for the woods, the ranches, and the mines. Many of them never find a stable anchorage again; they become hobos, vagabonds, wayfarers—migratory and intermittent workers, outcasts from society and the industrial machine, ripe for the denationalized fellowship of the I. W. W.” :wikipedia:
A Bona Fide Local