I want my own train. But I’m not an unreasonable person; I’m willing to make a few compromises to hold the expense level down to ridiculous, not quite as high as absurd. All I hear about from the candidates for governor is train-talk; all I hear about on talk radio around here is train-talk, and when is there going to be an honest referendum on whether or not the people of Dane County really want “regional” or “local” train transit.
Barrett wants the train; he says it will bring jobs. 55 is the number I hear most often. Walker doesn’t want the train, and is apparently willing to ship the federal millions off to Florida, so that we’re not on the hook for countless millions in support and maintenance and subsidies once the medium-speed train (58 mph is not “high” speed, as many of its proponents call it) is built and running.
So, to hell with all the talk show callers and the politicians. I want my own train.
I’m not crazy, so I don’t need to have it stop right at my front door. I’d be willing to drive a couple miles from my south-suburban home to, say, HiWay MM at HiWay 14, where there’s already a nice set of railroad tracks, and then take my personal train downtown, or out to the west side, or to the Kohl Center, or wherever. I’d like my personal train to take me up to Hortonville so I can visit mom, and it could drop me off a few blocks from mom’s house, where the train tracks cross Nash Street, and I’d hoof it a few hundred feet to her lakefront home.
I’d also like my wife to have the advantages of a personal train, which could take her to her office on Science Drive, and home after work; and take her down to Chicago so she can visit with her family and not have to deal with the miserable Chicago traffic and reduce the balance on our I-Pass account.
When I’m using the train, I’d like to have personal food and beverage service from young ladies with names like Greta or Ingrid. And, to be fair, when my wife is using our personal train, I think she should have food and beverage service from muscular young men with names like Amadeo or Benedetto.
You think I’m crazy? Maybe so, but no more so than the people who believe we need trains more than we need better roads and bus service, and who are willing to raid the state’s transportation fund to pay for their choo-choos.