Re: Edward Biggs letter, “CSX tracks a viable option for rail transit line,” Oct. 16 MDJ
Mr. Biggs seems to deny reality. He suggests that the CSX line through Cobb could support shared use by an effective commuter rail service. I suggest it cannot be done in a practical way. My experience is a bit different from his. I spent large segments of my career in information systems working closely with major rail and motor freight transportation companies. Since childhood I have been enamored with both real and model trains. I have spent many hours watching and studying the railroad industry.
How can anyone, even an idle watcher of trains, and with an element of analytical skills, fail to recognize the inability to impose commuter rail traffic into the already complex schedule of one of our nation’s most heavily used rail segments? I have many friends and relatives who did not grow up in a technical or analytical environment. Most of them easily recognize the problem of mixing small strings of gerbils with long strings of elephants on a single line of steel.
Perhaps Mr. Biggs is suggesting sharing the right of way of the CSX rather than the existing rails. If so, he should describe his options. One option is to clear a path alongside the existing rails for an additional set of tracks (preferably enough for two-way travel). This would entail removing homes and businesses and widening every bridge involved. Adjacent roadways would be affected.
Another option is to build an elevated line above the existing rails. Some of the complications here are obvious, but some might surprise the unaware.
I suggest that before publishing any further letters or editorials which favor using the CSX tracks for commuter service, you prepare a simple explanation for the uninitiated who might be subject to the reasonableness of this fantasy. Please do not allow the opinions of the uninformed to confuse the public with frivolous opinion.