When "Progress" Goes Too Far, Lessons from Los Angeles

I was advised of the plight of the “Dinky” by someone who thought that the story would be of interest to me. It is and I think that you might be interested in the story as well.

It is a case, in my opinion, of not preserving the very institutions that have become part of the fabric of who we are. I am a firm believer in the value of rail travel and, given a choice, would always take the train over a bus - for so many reasons. 

Reading this story I was reminded of how the southern California region was once criss-crossed with the lines of the old “Red Cars” of the Pacific Electric (PE) Railway.

After World War II ended, the automobile began to supplant the commuter rails as the predominate and preferred form of transit. Consequently the PE struggled to remain profitable and utlimately was doomed.

The tracks were removed and replaced with roads and freeways. Most anyone in Los Angeles now, would be happy to have the “old rail routes” still in-place and available. The roads and freeways gained during the removal of the PE’s lines have long since become gridlocked.

Hopefully Princeton does not suffer a similiar fate.

If you agree that the “Dinky” should stay, you can show your support by joining the Facebook page.

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    The engineer of the train affectionately known as the Dinky, the shortest regularly scheduled passenger line in the nation, stands on the Princeton Junction, N.J., platform on a recent Friday evening in May, waiting for N.J. Transit train number 3965 to arrive from New York Penn Station. The double-decker train comes gliding to a halt shortly after 6 p.m., and dozens of commuters spill forth, a blur of briefcases, ties, skirts, and backpacks...

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