The death of passenger rail: Boomers, How did we let this happen?

Came across my feed the other day: Most people in the US underestimate high-speed rail. There’s a direct train from Barcelona to Paris that takes 6 hours, tops out at almost 200 mph, and costs $41. Not $400+. $41. Why aren’t we funding this?

Hey, even just restoring the regular rail service we used to have in more places would be a step up! Intercity bus service too.

But people have to want it enough to put their money where their mouth is. For example, start choosing trains over flying. I think if enough of my fellow Boomers did this we might start a wave!

FWIW The only long-distance trip I do regularly anymore is by train, to see my family over the winter holidays.

Added later: It’s too bad such a majority of us Boomers — including even the “Earth Day/Woodstock hippie” subset of Boomers — opted to spend our working years in suburban sprawl housing, car-centered life, even though we ourselves had the benefit of growing up in walkable neighborhoods served by public transportation.

Even our suburbs back when we were growing up were a lot more walkable and served by public transportation. Smaller yards smaller lots, more closely connected neighbors.

Why did we ever choose to give that up when we had the choice when we were starting to raise our families??? (I myself did not choose to give that up. But so many did. We basically voted against public transportation at a time of our lives when we should have been doubling down. I mean, we “Woodstock Boomers” were all about Earth Day and all that, right? What the heck happened?)

Do you have any thoughts on this?

One fellow Boomer said “Reagan and the 80s came along.”

Indeed … but I am wondering why and how exactly… How did we consent to trade so much wonderfulness for such a yucky zeitgeist. Wall St., Gordon Gekko, etc.

I’m guessing that we allowed ourselves to get dazzled by financial affluence — to the point where we came to devalue the very deep, and much more flexible and valuable, social affluence that we had.

From a friend: Our generation sold out. I talk with young people who understand protecting the environment, while they don’t even know first-hand how “normal” (climate/temp-wise) and pristine things used to be. I usually apologize to them that my generation “dropped the ball.”

And my reply: Fortunately there is still a lot we can do, we may not save anything but we can at least ease a lot of suffering and soften people’s landing. And thank you for being one of the ones who get it!!