Now that Tacoma is happy – or happier – with the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT’s) willingness to consider “building an historically appropriate new station in the center of 100-year-old Freighthouse Square,” as opposed to a glass and metal thing which was the original design, if Amtrak could just fix the onboard Netflix problem, all would be swell.
Never mind “the noise, divided neighborhoods and closed streets” that Lakewood and Tillicum residents will experience as complained about by local resident Robert Jarrett in his letter recently in the Tacoma News Tribune no thanks to the rerouted passenger train that’s abandoning the scenic “waterfront line along Commencement Bay, under Point Defiance and past the Tacoma Narrows.”
Even though the 79-mile-per-hour trains will soon be short-cutting through the life-congested neighborhoods of Lakewood and Tillicum where chances are good – pejoratively speaking – that the passenger train will pad it’s stats in numbers of lives taken, 62 per year from 2005 to 2010, a life here or there is surely worth the six minutes to be saved on the new straight-through route from Seattle to Portland. Not taking into account of course the Netflix-less downtime to investigate why those kids were walking on the track in the first place.
That America is being taken for a ride – literally – on the “epic failure, gross mismanagement, and union featherbedding that surrounds Amtrak;”or that“high-speed rail diverts limited federal funds from much-needed infrastructure improvement,” raising such concerns is all just so much clickety-clack chatter, immaterial really, given what really should concern everybody, and evidently does, are the “widespread complaints about getting online while onboard.”
There is good news though. An upgrade is promised whereby “riders might finally be able to browse the Web and check e-mail without getting constantly kicked off their connections.”
You still will not be able to watch Netflix however while whistling past the graveyards of Lakewood and Tillicum.
And as for the sorry folks who live in these life-congested communities, in the words of Nancy Pelosi, grating like nails on a chalkboard as she glances up from her enhanced online experience: “embrace the suck.”
The BNSF railway wants to get the passenger trains off the Point Defiance route because the railroad tunnel under Point Defiance has only one track. This single track is a bottleneck. There are going to be a lot more freight trains using the Point Defiance route in the future. I would rather this freight move by rail rather than clogging up I-5 with more trucks.