Saturday, December 8, 2012

These Old Maps Show That America’s Rail System Hasn’t Improved In Almost A Century

#Mountainair was, like so many homesteaded western backwaters, as much a railroad town as a bean farmer town. We see a lot of trains/ People take pictures of them, but they never stop here. We still have a station. It houses equipment and computers for the programs that run the trains. 

Although my personal memories are less than clear on the matter, I rode the transcontinental rails with my as a toddler during WWII from New York to Washington State. Given the choice between mother in Spokane WA or mother-in-law in Canton NY ~  a wicked choice for a 19 year old whose husband had been shot down over Germany, Mother opted for shuttling between the two by rail. 

These Old Maps Show That America’s Rail System Hasn’t Improved In Almost A Century: They depict how long it took to travel by train across the U.S. at various points from 1800 to 1932. Sadly, we haven’t made much progress since then…

People complain about the trains in the United States: They’re not fast enough, they don’t go to convenient locations. This is a chicken-and-egg situation: We are also unwilling to pay for trains that go faster and go to convenient locations. But these antique maps show we could have it much worse, but also that the development of our rail transit has embarrassingly made almost no progress.

Taken from the 1932 Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States, unearthed by Treehugger’s Michael Graham Richards, the maps show how long it would take to get from New York City to any other part of the country throughout history.

Read Full Story at Fast Co,Exist

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