America’s neglect of its railroads could be turning deadly

Neena Satija, writing for Quartz:

Forget about the need for high-speed rail. An investigation is underway, but yesterday’s Metro-North train derailment in New York City, which killed four people and injured more than 60, exposes the long-term lack of investment in mass transit infrastructure in the US. In July, a freight train hauling trash had derailed in the same area. And this weekend’s incident came just a day after a freight train derailed in New Mexico and plunged into a ravine, killing three crew members. More than just long delays and billions of dollars in lost economic productivity, America’s neglect of railroads has deadly consequences.

“Forget about high-speed rail” makes for a great lede, but Satija neglects the fact that investments in high-speed rail tend to be good for existing rail, especially in places where there’s shared track. It’s not necessarily an either-or situation.

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