An article in the Sun Journal Dec. 15 read “Train service fights for life.” The rail authority seeks $7 million to $9 million a year from the state to keep running. The state wants to increase highway spending by $50 million to $60 million per year. That’s a big difference. Highway spending will no doubt increase every year, whereas rail spending will decrease, even with an increase in ridership.

With oil prices reaching new highs, causing increases in food, clothing, shelter, etc., people need to think about other modes of transportation for the future, especially those based on electric energy.

Coal, dams and windmill farms will supply that energy. A new kind of power plant, to be built in the Midwest, will burn coal and be pollution-free, but it will be trains that deliver the needed coal. Some day, locomotives will burn coal, pollution free. They can even run on electricity, whereas planes and trucks cannot.

Legislators need to look beyond the confines of the legislative chamber to see what lies ahead in transportation.

As it is, people have to drive to Portland or beyond to board a train or plane.

Roger Jalbert, Lewiston


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