In their continuing effort to put all parodists out of work, America’s passenger rail institution “Amtrak” and Vice President Joe Biden cooperated in this elaborate skit to gain publicity for their goal of cradle-to-grave Universal High Speed Rail.
Except it wasn’t a skit. Wilmington Station in Delaware was to be renamed yesterday as the Joseph R. Biden Jnr Railroad Station, in honor of the current vice president, a long time advocate for “investing” more taxpayer money in the country’s stubbornly unprofitable passenger rail system. On the way to the event, via the much-lauded ACELA high speed Amtrak train, was the Chief Executive Officer of Amtrak, Joseph Boardman.
However, the ACELA train which Boardman was on got stuck in Baltimore with mechanical trouble. Realizing it would be embarrassing for him to abandon the train and take a car to the event, Boardman did so anyway. He is quoted as saying, “‘I thought it was required of me to be there.”
Many Amtrak passengers think the very same thing, when they board their trains, high speed and otherwise. They think it is required of them to be someplace. Like Boardman, many find out that the train on which they are riding has plans which conflict with their own. Unlike Boardman, most of these passengers cannot simply send a text message to a lackey somewhere who will have them picked up from the broken down train in a nice, sleek, gasoline-driven automobile, and whisked off to meet the Vice President.
In a just world, a story with such an almost poetic resonance of pure farce, as the one above, would put an end to megalomaniacal dreams of an America covered from coast to coast with heavily subsidized “high speed” rail lines.
But take note: In a just world there would be no Joseph R. Biden Jnr Railroad Station to begin with.