Washington Post Editorial Board: Pour More Money Into Infrastructure To Prevent Next Train Tragedy

You might be aware of Liberals blaming a supposed lack of infrastructure spending for the crash of the AMTRAK train in Philly (say, whatever happened to the $800 billion Stimulus, as well as all the smaller stimulus packages during the first few years of Obama’s reign?), as well as attempting to blame Republicans in multiple ways (many easy examples at Twitchy, including here, here, and here). We even know the actual cause. The Washington Post knows the actual cause. Heck, even the Washington Post Editorial Board knows the cause, and they still drive to the corner of Disgraceful Road and Bat Guano Insane Lane

Prevent the next train tragedy
The Philadelphia train crash is a reminder of the need to invest more in U.S. infrastructure. (WT note: that subhead is from the WP front page)

IT’S NOT yet clear why Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 derailed Tuesday night, killing seven and wounding more than 200. The National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday afternoon that the train was traveling more than 100 mph in a 50 mph zone in North Philadelphia, where the tracks take a sharp turn.

So, everyone knows that the train was going double the speed limit, including the WPEB, but the WPEB is unsure what caused the crash? Would this be considered Amtrak Trutherism? It’s certainly a way for the WPEB to push Talking Points

At first glance, in other words, this would appear to be a story of human failure. But no matter what the investigation yields, there almost certainly will be lessons about the United States’ negligent stewardship of its roads, rails, bridges and tunnels.

There’s no doubt we could do more for the road. Funny how the Liberal push to mandate better fuel economy, hybrids, and electric vehicles has reduced the available money via gas taxes. Say, whatever happened to all the Stimulus money? Oh, right, repaving roads that didn’t need repaving, painting bridges instead of fixing them, money wasted on signs talking up the Stimulus, and general mismanagement. Has anyone asked Joe Biden, who was nominally in charge of the Stimulus money?

Amtrak long ago should have installed automatic safeguards against reckless driving on a route like the Northeast Corridor, which is heavily trafficked and passes through dense urban centers. The technology exists. But Amtrak hasn’t finished installing its “positive train control” system, even along its busiest line.

Go that? It’s the fault of those who haven’t finished installing the system, not the people/person who had the train going double the speed limit into a curve.

Their most basic task is to put the transportation budget on sound footing, which Congress has failed to do, year after year. The Highway Trust Fund relies on the federal gasoline tax to finance all sorts of transportation needs, but the revenue stream hasn’t covered the country’s spending requirements for years. The obvious solution is to raise the gas tax, which has been at the same level since 1993. But neither President Obama nor Congress has the courage to say this aloud. Legislators are poised to patch together several billion dollars to keep the fund solvent for a short while longer, while they continue to debate second-best solutions. Instead, they should fix the problem now. Congress also should reduce the time and hassle it takes to get infrastructure projects approved.

Interesting. Didn’t I just mention the gas tax issue? In all honesty, I hadn’t even read to this part of the editorial when I wrote about the gas tax above. Anyhow, it was government which created the loss of revenue, as mentioned by me, and the WPEB has ignored that “why”, so the obvious solution is to raise the tax, which is almost always the solution for everything in Liberal World. Strange how they never recommend that the money raised should be spent wisely and responsibly.

They go on to recommend more “investment” in the Northeast Corridor train service. Fine. Great. All these mostly Democrat states should spend the money for the service that is primarily used in their own states. They even complain at Obama for pissing away money on high speed rail in a mish mash manner (the complaint is surely raaaaacist, since any complaint aimed at O is raaaaacist). This is a great argument for the reduction of the power of the federal government when it comes to spending, putting that power back into the hands of the States, along with the money. People closer to the issues know (generally) how to better spend the money on the projects needed most.

Such steps would not lessen the burden of Tuesday night’s tragedy. They might prevent others, however.

In other words, the WPEB is simply taking advantage of a tragedy to push their politics. Shameful.

Crossed at Right Wing News.

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10 Responses to “Washington Post Editorial Board: Pour More Money Into Infrastructure To Prevent Next Train Tragedy”

  1. Jeffery says:

    Amtrak long ago should have installed automatic safeguards against reckless driving on a route like the Northeast Corridor, which is heavily trafficked and passes through dense urban centers. The technology exists. But Amtrak hasn’t finished installing its “positive train control” system, even along its busiest line.

    Why was the train going too fast? Does it matter? The “positive train control” system would have slowed it saving lives, reducing injuries and preventing damage.

    Our actions have consequences. When we ignore our infrastructure needs we will have more accidents like this.

  2. jl says:

    “Does it matter?” Of course it does, as it points to human error, not lack of money. But if liberals are going to comically argue it’s a money issue, where did all that “stimulus” money go that was in part supposed to be used on infrastructure?

  3. Jeffery says:

    Regardless of what might have happened to the engineer, if the train had been equipped with the “positive train control” system 7 Americans would not have died and 200 would not have injured. That’s the way safety devices operate.

    Regardless of whether the engineer was intoxicated, made a mistake, passed out, had a heart attack, was attacked by a Christian terrorist, was trying to commit suicide or if the accelerator stuck, the “positive train control” system would have slowed the train to a safe speed.

    Do you oppose all safety devices because of your 1890s ideology? How about autopilot on airliners? Antilock brakes? Airbags? Motorcycle helmets? Gun cases?

    We must make decisions as a people as to what we spend our hard-earned money on. We elect politicians to carry out our wishes. Conservatives think spending money on “positive train control” systems is wasteful. Progressives and now the families of 7 individuals think otherwise.

  4. gitarcarver says:

    Do you oppose all safety devices because of your 1890s ideology? How about autopilot on airliners? Antilock brakes? Airbags? Motorcycle helmets? Gun cases?

    Can you name one person from the 1890’s that died because of a lack of autopilot on airliners?

    The fact of the matter is that airlines don’t use autopilots because they are safer, but because the autopilot holds the plane at certain angles to maximize fuel efficiency. Even then, with an autopilot on, international flight regulations require that there be at least one type qualified person at all times on the flight deck. Why is that? Because the autopilot may fail.

    Here’s another look at autopilot and hidden flaws: http://www.flyingmag.com/blogs/going-direct/why-planes-are-crashing-autopilot

    Is there a point where we rely too much on mandated “safety features?”

    Despite mandatory seatbelt use, how many people do you see wearing seat belts off the shoulder? Or women not wearing them properly because they wrinkle a dress? Are they any safer? How about air bags? How many people suffered injuries from the deployment of airbags and why are manufacturers recalling airbags that spray shrapnel into passenger compartments? A reliance on technology can be deadly.

    You bring up motorcycle helmets but years ago when cities mandated bicycle helmet laws the number of injuries went up according to stats compiled by the League of American Wheelmen.

    A PTC system may have prevented the accident although there are several scholarly papers and incidents where PTC’s have failed. If you want to install such a system, that’s fine, but it makes the engineer unnecessary.

    Let us know how it turns out when you tell the union members that their jobs will be eliminated because of the new systems.

    Technology and ACS are great, but they are not a panacea for everything as you believe.

  5. drowningpuppies says:

    Conservatives think spending money on “positive train control” systems is wasteful.
    Hey dipstick, did you read the part where the money was approved by Congress but AMTRAK HAS NOT
    FINISHED INSTALLING THE SYSTEM!!!

  6. John says:

    GC planes can also fly without pilots but we do still keep them in the cockpit
    Same with trains
    As far as it benefitting blue states well why the hell not ? Blue states pay more to DC than they get back but for some reason red states are the ones who complain that taxes are too high. They ask for more but want to give less.

  7. John says:

    Making politics out of a tragedy how shameful tsk tsk
    BENGHAZI BENGHAZI BENGHAZI!!!!

  8. gitarcarver says:

    john,

    I am not sure of your point because as usual, your writing is really confusing and you make no point.

    We do keep pilots in cockpits because the autopilot is not designed to fly the plane from takeoff to landing. Airbus has tried to do that and it has failed, miserably.

    BENGHAZI BENGHAZI BENGHAZI!!!!

    I want to make sure that I understand your point…… you want to compare the decisions made in Benghazi that directly led to the deaths of four people and a train system where the operator appears to have done something wrong and not installing a ACS because of the false notion that Amtrakl was not funded or underfunded?

    You can’t argue with that because there is no logic or truth to argue with.

    Have found Selma yet?

  9. John says:

    Teach Amtrack turned a 500 million profit last year on the Northeadt corridor route it beaks even on some others and loses its shirt on the transcontinental routes BUT the Red state congress says they can’t cut back on those mkney losers
    Montana must have Amtrack!! While trains from NYC to Boston must sloe down to 10mph while crossing a 100+ year old bridge

  10. gitarcarver says:

    There goes that argument from the left:

    Amtrak had installed the “Positive Train Control” system on the track where a speeding train fatally crashed Tuesday, but the system was not switched on.

    The system could have automatically slowed the Amtrak 188, but instead it jumped the rails, killing 8 people and injuring more than 200.

    According to a top congressional aide, Amtrak told the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday that the PTC system was installed along the section of track outside Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, where the crash occurred, but it was not operating.

    The aide said Amtrak informed the committee it has encountered delays turning the PTC on throughout its system because of the need to get the bandwidths required to upgrade the radios to a higher MHz, which improves reliability.

    Amtrak has worked out a deal with the Federal Communication Commission to get the broader bandwidth either late last year or early this year, an aide said.”

    The false claim of “lack of funding” had nothing to do with the accident.

    Nothing.

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