Letter — Tahoe can be rail leader | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letter — Tahoe can be rail leader

The economic stimulus proposed in the form of tax rebates, presents a historic opportunity to strengthen and prepare for what surely lies ahead. Energy disruption, coupled with transport breakdown, can be hedged with reinvestment in transportation infrastructure.

I speak of sums much less formidable than Persian Gulf military expenditures over decades, past, present and future. Why spend so much to protect oil to the last drop, when the sun and wind and falling water beckon, and can be harnessed in a peaceful quest for power? And clean electricity converted directly to transport?

Rubber tire transportation has unequivocal support and no end of political action groups to advance that particular mode of travel. Please give consideration to our second dimension of surface transport, the continental rail network, ranging from Canada to Honduras, formerly of much greater import in the scheme of things.

Rail service to Lake Tahoe is a fact of Tahoe City history, and can be replicated with a link to the Reno airport. Does it strike you as somewhat out of step to talk about a new rail corridor from Sacramento via Placerville, entering South Shore via a five-mile tunnel at Twin Bridges? Does a rebuilt V&T Railroad in the Carson Valley seem unlikely, as these California side railway amenities must, to the casual observer?

Expanded rail capacity and reach, linked to vastly increased renewable source electric power, seems to roll off the tongue. Is Lake Tahoe on the leading edge of a national shift in energy and transportation policy?

The U.S. Army maintains to this day several railway operating and maintenance battalions, that will undoubtedly be the genesis for a cadre of personnel that will be available throughout the United States to back up the normal civilian staff of the railway companies in the emergencies to come.

The people of the USA will respond to the federal call to begin the orderly and deliberate shift to a renewables energy based transport network; personal mobility will not be unduly affected, but there will be changes, to be sure.

Gunnar Henrioulle

South Lake Tahoe

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