I had hoped to begin a local discussion that would lead to an economic boom for the Peoria region. I certainly believe it is possible. I will be emailing it to Peoria County Board, Peoria City Council, local state representatives and senators, our local congressman. Please discuss it. Thank you.
Rails to Prosperity:
Peoria has all the pieces to make our next decade an economic boom. The question is: do we still have the resolve and confidence to coordinate our resources for the good of our region?
Amtrak is an anachronism held over by our nineteenth century railroad explosion. Freight companies own the tracks; government owns the Amtrak trains. A freight company’s primary function is commerce the need to operate the rails to make profits. Amtrak is a nuisance to the railroads. Our passenger rail model is reversed from all other types of transportation. Our highway system relies on government to build infrastructure; private companies to sell cars and trucks, private companies to carry the goods of commerce. On the water, government builds our locks, improves our harbors. Private companies build the ships and barges; private companies transport our exports and imports. Again in the air, government builds the airports. Private companies build the planes; private companies carry passengers and light freight. The problem with the Amtrak model should be obvious. Government must build the rails and lease their use to private carriers like our airports do now. Private companies need to manufacture and sell the trains. Amtrak is at odds with the successful economic model that exists in all other forms of transportation.