President Trump May Ignite Rail Boom
February 26, 2019
But where it'll happen will come as a surprise....
by Sean Jeans-Gail
President Trump has often talked about himself as "a builder," and campaigned hard on addressing America's crumbling infrastructure. So it's no surprise that he's taking up infrastructure again this week.
The location of this latest iteration of Infrastructure Week, however, did come as a shock. Bloomberg has more:
At South Korea’s northernmost train station, the tracks stop abruptly ahead of the demilitarized zone that marks the North Korean border. A sign reads: “The steel horse wants to run.”
That may soon become a reality as U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un prepare for a second summit next week in Vietnam. The outcome is expected to include some easing of sanctions in return for steps toward denuclearization -- with a rail link first mooted more than 15 years ago one of several key inter-Korean projects that might finally get approved.
In a phone call with Trump this week, President Moon Jae-in said South Korea was ready to move forward with the rail link and other unspecified economic projects if it helped the negotiations.
Restoring the connection and modernizing North Korea’s railways would allow South Korea to run trains into Russia, China and beyond.
Let's hope the president brings some of that deal-making magic back with him on his return stateside. If he's looking for a blueprint, may we suggest www.railpassengers.org/2020?
"The National Association of Railroad Passengers has done yeoman work over the years and in fact if it weren’t for NARP, I'd be surprised if Amtrak were still in possession of as a large a network as they have. So they've done good work, they're very good on the factual case."
Robert Gallamore, Director of Transportation Center at Northwestern University and former Federal Railroad Administration official, Director of Transportation Center at Northwestern University
November 17, 2005, on The Leonard Lopate Show (with guest host Chris Bannon), WNYC New York.