Monday, August 12, 2013

Infrastructure that requires no new tech

Matthew Yglesias on low tech solutions:

It's no hyperloop, but here's one way we could make the trip from New York to Washington, DC much faster. It's called a "passenger train" and all you need to do is instead of relying on existing tracks build whole new tracks that go more or less straight. And instead of slowing the train down by stopping in Baltimore and Wilmington and Trenton and such you'll just traverse a bunch of jurisdictions without actually providing them any service.

What is ironic is that these jurisdictions that are bypassed may still be better off.  All you need to do is have small express trains to either Washington, DC or New York (whichever is closer).  Two fast trains may well be better than one slow train that is always stopping.  It even fits the Mark P principle that it can be done now with currently available technology.  No need to hope that technological break-throughs will continue at a historical pace to allow the technology to become viable one day . . .

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