TBD

TBD on Ning

I travel around a lot. I drive a 32 ft Class A RV towing a jeep Liberty. Since i don't have a navigator, I depend on a GPS device. It has a female voice that tells me where to go. Since I've been married twice and had a few girl friends, I have been told where to go many times. But, with the GPS lady I don't have to do what she says.

However, since I do need to hear what she says (I call her Nellie) I have found that I can't have the radio on or listen to books on CD. This means that I often go for long periods with no distactions. So, I think.

Today while driving through Alabama on  US Highway 80 instead of the Interstate.  I observed that there was  a lot of road construction.

There was also a number of signs proclaiming that this roadwork was being funded by the Federal Government as part of the "Put Our Country Back to Work Program". that is a paraphrase but means the same as what the signs said.

I thought "wait a moment, both the President and the current President have said that this country is in trouble because we are addicted to oil".  

What uses the most oil?

The cars and trucks on the highways.

The trucks probably consume more than the cars, but they are moving the stuff we need around the country.  

I have read that the cost of moving goods by rail is a very small fraction of the cost of moving goods by truck.

I think most of the difference in cost is the difference in amount of fuel required to move goods.

So, If we want to get over our addiction to Oil and also put people to work, why isn't the Government funding  the building of railroads?

I had many more thoughts about this subject, but I would like to hear what the rest of you think.

Tags: economy, highways, jobs

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Its very efficient to use trains for longer distances but for shorter ones or at the end of the journey it will be a truck.
So, why are we building new highways across the country, instead of railroads?
Because not only shipping trucks will use them. Even if everybody's driving a solar-powered car in five years, they gotta have something to drive them on.
I live only about 4 miles from Interstate 40 which is the number one conduit for trucks traveling west to east and east to west. The road is very dangerous for both cars and trucks. What makes trucks effient enough to stay in business is the government paying for a very large percentage of their actual cost of opperation. The government builds and maintains the highways where as the railroads build and maintainthere own. Pavement on I40 has to be replaced every 5 years at least. Sometimes more often. I know trucks pay taxes on fuel but what they pay does not touch what they tear up. You used to see trucks with signs on the back telling how much taxes they paid. Most were around $5000 dollars a years. That amount whould not pave 100 feet of interstate highway. Railroads are the answer and containers like they use on ships are the answer to the loading and unloading problem.
PA, You have figured it out. The rest of you seem to have missed my point about getting us off oil. If the Government could build a rail system that could move cargo and people around the country. We could develop trains that run on LNG and get off the Mideast oil addition. In the early 1900s there was a competition between the trucking industry and the railroads for Government assistance. The Trucking industry won and the government has subsidized it by building roads ever since. If you doubt this, take a look at how many trucks use the toll roads in this country. As a matter of fact, some toll roads don't allow big trucks to use them. Why? because they tear up the road. PA is right about I-40, and I-10 is the same. Americans have their heads in the sand. We are not willing to give up any little bit of convience no matter what it does to the country. If you think toll roads are the answer go to Texas. Most of their toll roads are loosing money. They now require you to have an EZ pass to get on many of them. That is so they can eliminte the toll takers and force you into the system. Texas has scraped the plan to build a Toll road across the state.
Envy might be too strong a word ROBBIE but I think that admire is aptly suited. I admire the manner that you have chosen to spend your existence traveling around in your RV, never being restricted to only one address. I just think that's pretty cool and wanted to tell you so :)
DM. It is pretty cool. But it is not the carefree existance that most imagine. It comes with it's own set of problems.
I'm starting to get a little tired of it. Looking for two places to move back and forth between. A Relatively cool place in Summer and a relatively warm place in winter. Oh, the places also need to have some other attributes. I can send a list.
There is no perfect picnic spot. there is no perfect RV.
They are digging up part of NYC to put in another subway route. It's a mess, a nightmare.
So, Are you saying that NYC traffic isn't a mess when they are not putting in a new subway route? (:>)
I worked on the railroad through the 70s and 80s and we were constantly misplacing rail cars, I'm sure it's better today with computers to keep track but not nearly as reliable as putting your freight on a single truck. Until the 90s we had lots of large industries who could afford to lay track into their plants, it's a huge expense for smaller industries of today. One rail car can carry over 100 tons of freight, one truck can only carry about 25. To make it truly cost efficient to receive your raw product by rail, you would need to receive it in bulk which means building a storage facility as well as tracks into your plant.

Industry leaders are much like the rest of us, instant gratification, they want their freight yesterday. It's easy to pass on the shipping costs to the customer.
Maybe they could designate, Truck only, highways and have the trucking companies pay for them? Maybe make them toll roads?
But once again, that wouldn't do anything about our dependence on foreign oil. That was my point in the original discussion. We lament our dependence on oil, but are unwilling to change our method of operation in any way. Humans are parisites and will continue to foul our nest until we kill the whole planet. Oh well, I'll probably be gone by then. But I had hoped to see us start to turn it around before I die. HA!!!!
I am sure that if trucking companies were forced to pay there own way some sort of solution would be found very quickly.
I travel I40 all the time and cuss at the trucks the whole way. Then every few years they have to repave and I cuss even louder. It is not the truck drivers fault. They are just doing their jobs but there are just too many trucks.

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