We’re in the age of futuristic self-driving cars (why?); congested and stress-filled airports; and dangerous highway accidents (Montana is already at 157 highway deaths in 2019). I think it’s high time to revive passenger rail across the country.
With our current reality of climate change and the critical need to lower emissions, travel by train looks even more appealing. According to the International Energy Agency, rail is among the most efficient and lowest emitting modes of transport.
If a passenger rail line passed through southern Montana, there would be economic, safety and environmental benefits, not to mention some great jobs, and the restoration and use of historical train depots. College students, those without a vehicle, and those who do not drive would have an economical transportation alternative.
Trains are practical, reliable and, arguably, more comfortable than driving or flying. They could easily connect Montana towns to one another, and to larger cities like Seattle.
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If Montanans continue to talk about this revival and consider the many benefits, maybe our leaders will really push to make it a reality.