Nov 27, 2011

The Reappearing Railroad Blues

( For decades the railroad industry was seen as a decaying backwater that would more or less vanish after the last American steel mill shut its doors. I can just remember those sad days when Penn Central collapsed and Conrail looked like a government boondoggle. I remember a TV news reporter making a stretch of railroad track bounce up and down merely by pressing on it with his tasseled loafer, and young Arlo Guthrie riding the train, singing City of New Orleans in a desperate bid to save an important industry. This, I think, appealed to a lot of railfans, who seem to be a very nostalgic lot. Every glimpse of a train could be the last, every snapshot archival, every bankrupt line a "fallen flag," as if it were Appomattox Courthouse - the lost cause.
But then something happened. The railroads came back. Continued