Sunday, September 25, 2022

Big Sky Rail Authority opposition

| May 4, 2022 12:00 AM

Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority Chair Dave Strohmaier and colleagues opined recently that expanding rail service will create greater connectivity in Montana (Hiawatha rail route will better connect rural Montana). They presented a good history of Montana rail.

My house was built on the old Tarkio Post Office/Community Center that was accessible by trolly car to Missoula, Mineral and possibly Sanders county residents.

Automobiles, airplanes and recreational vehicles have been and still are Amtrak’s major competitors in Montana and nationally. They are the reasons why the Hiawatha line was dropped and the Hi-Line has continuous operating losses. With our $30 trillion national debt, it’s simply wrong the federal government has been subsidizing a losing operation.

Proponents say Mineral County needs a chunk of the $12 billion bipartisan infrastructure law that requires upgrades and enhancements to Amtrak’s existing national long-distance lines.

Proponents of the New Green Deal need long distance and intercity connections in preparation of removing automobiles and airplanes as choice methods of travel. Two examples are Billings to Denver, and Salt Lake City to Helena.

BSPRA would be wiser promoting the old Bitterroot rail line into Missoula as a starting point to introducing passenger rail profitably benefiting Missoula County.

Freedom! BSPRA and the New Green Deal need to take away your cars and airplanes to bring back the use of trains and trolleys. Just say no!

— Kevin Valerio, Superior

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