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Topic: Culture & Communities     Department: Letters

Share the tracks

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Our railways are the only transportation systems where both the movable equipment and the track infrastructure are owned by the same company (HCN, 2/02/09). In all other haulage systems, the "tracks" are shared by competing companies. Look at the highways, airways and waterways. Thus, individual railways have an advantage, because they do not have to fear competition. A high-speed rail system in certain areas, owned by the federal government, similar to our interstate highway system, could be the answer. A variety of private railroad companies could use the same track system, thus lowering the overall cost and increasing competition between the various haulers. Currently, the German Bundesbahn is being restructured in this way: The infrastructure will still be federally owned, but the moving portion will be partially privatized.

Ulrich Lange
Paonia, Colorado

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