Ray Dixon’s intriguing letter discussing costs associated with the proposed New Orleans-to-Baton Rouge train only tells part of the picture:
First, not all trains would stop at all stations — frequency of stops would depend on passenger potential from each station. All trains would not stop at all stations.
Second, the investment in infrastructure for the passenger train would benefit all users of the rail line. I’m specifically thinking of the dangerous, century-old, wooden Bonnet Carré Spillway trestle; upgrading it would make passenger and freight trains speedier and safer and would definitely protect the fragile environment from damaging spills.
Last, Mr. Dixon’s car usage costs are way off the mark. It never ceases to amaze that when calculating the cost of car travel the cost of the car itself (with loan interest fees), registration, maintenance, insurance and deprecation are never figured into the cost of car ownership and usage. That’s the case in this situation too.