——- “Isn’t true that trains have gone the way of the Horse & Buggy? “ ————-
Not at All! Trains are far from being passé. Railroads once transformed the world. They were in a sense our first Inter-Net. They connected people, communications and the transfer of goods like never before in human history.
Rail travel is not dead and is not old fashioned. It has been observed that Rail, including Light Rail, Trams, and even modern forms of trolleys or Streetcars are on the increase.
Amtrak for the past several years has seen a marked increase in ridership. And Amtrak is not the only model for passenger travel. There are examples of successful smaller rail operations, such as the Cape flyer out of Boston, the various holdings of Iowa Pacific, the Charlotte NC Lynx Blue Line, the Texas Dallas Dart expansion, the Phoenix AZ Light Rail System and numerous others. Many medium sized Cities have Trolley or Streetcar projects planned or in progress. And not just as Museum rides, but working passenger carrying transit equipment! Light rail systems are increasing; A look at the “Smart Train” in California can serve as an example for the Mid-Hudson valley area.
They are investing in a 70-mile corridor that will extend commuters ranges and is very bike friendly. They are creating an extensive bike trail alongside the rail. They are making it possible for getting many people from Sonoma and Marin Counties to the San Francisco area in an efficient matter.
A rail travel Renaissance or Revitalization has begun, despite some misplaced resistance . It would be great if on the west side of the Hudson River, this followed suit with so many other economically improving areas. No, it’s not going to “replace” the auto. But our culture is changing and Cities and communities are going to be connected by more than just roads and bike trails. At least the best progressive and connected communities will. This is where Ulster county is not being forward thinking and “missing the train”. These aren’t your great grandfather’s 1915 transit systems. Even Heritage and tourist railroads are redefining themselves and becoming revitalized. They are creating new operational models and methods. They are creating economic seeds in the communities they serve. They are bringing people and businesses together, much as their inspired namesakes and predecessors had. The Strasburg Railroad, The S&NC Railway, the ASRR, the Colebrookdale Railroad, and a myriad of others are all impacting their economic communities in a positive matter. The very U&D corridor is a historic railway route. It’s very rails are part of history. It is the last rail route into the Catskills. It’s also a seed for economic growth and should be nurtured. It is especially poised, in time and location, to become a major regional regenerative force in the Hudson Valley and West into the Catskills. Ulster County is alone in this unique opportunity to capitalize on that. Yes, a heritage railroad it does use equipment from bygone eras. That’s part of the romance and historic enjoyment that is an important tourist draw. However, trains has a very important role to play in getting access to the U&D corridor area, enjoying its beauty and history, and making economic strides for its Future and that of the community. For many years to come………..
Yes, Virginia, it is no myth, Railroads and trains are “Coming Back” and will transform the world again. It is most important to get on board.
U&D Railway Revitalization Corp https://www.facebook.com/UDRailwayRevitalization/
U&D Railway Revitalization Corp – Website http://udrrcorp.com/wordpress/