Roadscapes Stuff

Roadscapes Wednesday: The Amtrak Train Crash And America’s Infrastructure Crisis

Roadscapes Geek Alabama

Well, it has been all over the news.  Up in Philadelphia, the Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 was going over 100 miles per hour on a section of track with a 50 mph speed limit.  You can tell what happened next.  All seven cars and the locomotive jumped the tracks, and 7 people are dead with hundreds more injured.  How did this happen?  And why was a speed control device not along this part of the track?  It could have prevented the things we see in this photo below!

Certainly, there are going to be a lot of questions coming from this.  For starters, a House committee decided the right thing to do was to cut the budget for Amtrak, what a smart move!  And second, this also highlights the need that America has a major infrastructure problem.  I might not agree with everything Donald Trump says, and this might not have been a good time to tweet about this, but he is right!

All types of infrastructure are in trouble in America.  Our roads are crumbling and are overcrowded.  Bridges are too old and are collapsing.  Fatal wrecks on our railroads are way up this year, including plenty of derailments and explosions.  We also have very old water and sewer systems.  And our power grids could be wiped out in a terrorist attack.  Face it folks, we have an infrastructure crisis on our hands, and our politicians in Washington are too busy catering to lobbyists and donors.  Hey, Donald Trump got that one right too!

Sadly, it is going to take tragedies like this Amtrak disaster, or a major bridge collapsing, and killing many people, before our politicians gets off of their butts and actually do something about our infrastructure!  If nothing is done, people will be spending longer time on bad roads, and on unsafe infrastructure like bridges.  It’s just like that John Oliver piece about out infrastructure, he nailed it!

So, do I have the confidence that something will be done?  Nope!  Washington is way too corrupt right now and it might be left to the states to do something about this.  We have a major crisis developing, but it is going to take real leaders to get something done!  Who knows, if Amtrak had the funds to put in that speed control device on that track curve, some people would still be alive today.  It is a shame some lawmakers are using this disaster to send a message to Amtrak that they should have little to no funding.  What a stupid move!  And with scenes like this, that was not the time to do something like this!