The Rio Grande Foundation has long been New Mexico’s most prominent critic of the Rail Runner. Scholar Ken Brown wrote this critical piece way back in January of 2006. I have also written on and discussed the numerous problems with the train many times over the years including this recent blog posting telling the train’s supporters to put their money where their mouths are and step up to close the train’s $750,000 deficit.
Well, it seems like more and more people are getting it. For starters, check out Trever’s excellent cartoon in today’s ABQ Journal:
Also, Joe Monahan, who we don’t always agree with, but certainly seems to have the pulse of the New Mexico establishment, made an interesting point in a recent blog posting on the Rail Runner:
The political impact of the troubled Rail Runner on the Dem Light Guv campaign of Lawrence Rael has already been mentioned. Lawrence was head of MRCOG and is taking credit for the Rail Runner. Then there is presumed Dem Guv nominee Diane Denish. She may have some tough questions to answer about how she sees the future of this train. However, maybe not too many if the R’s nominate Allen Weh as their Guv nominee. When he was GOP chairman Weh was supportive of the Rail Runner.
The long-term future of the Rail Runner remains troubling because it was not modeled after the expensive European model of speed–lots of speed–like well over 100 mph. That is hurting the train as cars race past it from ABQ to Santa Fe. And then there’s the recession. Fewer state employees mean fewer Rail Runner riders and lower gross receipts tax revenue means less money to fund the train,