MMS Friends

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The wisdom of grade-level rail: A comparison

As Owen discusses on Lone Star Times, many pundits blame drivers for MetroRail's abysmal safety record. Some of that blame is certainly justified. However, the design of the MetroRail line practically invites accidents. Now let's look at another infrastructure-based institution that uses 19th-century technology.

What would happen if Reliant Energy decided to just drape its power lines on the ground, rather than string them from poles? It would be an obscenely stupid concept, right? People would be injured, service disruptions would be the order of the day, Chronicle columnists would whine and a little rain would turn into a huge repair bill. Oh, and every once in a while, someone would pay with his life. Welcome to the world of grade-level rail.


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