Today, the focus is on one lovely rhetorical ploy used by anti-rail advocates to try to put one over on people with limited experience with trains. This relies on the false framing that “trains is trains”, and uses something that is true about a particular kind of local rail transport to mislead people about 110mph Emerging High Speed Rail in particular.
Randall O’Toole, working for The Cato Institute (Sourcewatch), recently completed another of his series of propaganda pieces against High Speed Rail, for the “Show-Me Institute”. Sourcewatch does not have much on the “Show-Me Institute”, but it does note that in 2006, a contribution of $50,000 to the “Show-Me Institute” appeared in the annual report … of the Cato Institute.
And what is this shell game?
- High capacity, high frequency local mass transit rail systems yhtive best with high population densities
- Therefore the higher the population density, the better for High Speed Rail
- Therefore the Northeast Corridor shows the best that is possible for High Speed Rail
Didja catch it? Local mass transit rail and intercity High Speed Rail share people sitting in carriages with steel wheels running on steel rails – nowhere near enough in common to support the weight of the “therefore”.
In reality, the Northeast Corridor could well be over the threshold where population density starts to undermine High Speed Rail operating ratios.