A Lincoln senator is proposing a high-speed railway between Lincoln and Omaha. There are people who commute between the two cities for work every day who would love to skip driving in the heavy traffic. T
The number of people traveling Interstate 80 on game days could be decreased with passenger train cars tailoring the ride between the two cities for Husker fans.
I’m all for it, and I wish rail travel would be extended to other parts of Nebraska, too.
Imagine if we had a reliable high-speed railway system between Northeast Nebraska and Omaha or Lincoln. You could catch a ride on a morning train, use the two hours or so to nap or work on your laptop and then catch the return train later that day on an equally relaxing trip.
Just a few weeks ago, we were given a tour at the Durham Museum in Omaha of passenger train cars used in the 1940’s and 50’s. The Pullman cars were roomy and had large windows to watch the landscape go by as passengers leaned back on their comfortable seats. There was also a “lounge” car and cars with compartments for sleeping. It seemed like the ideal way to travel \h— so comfortable and convenient — why did we think driving cars was a better idea?
At one time, you could get about anywhere in Nebraska by train. In 1884, the state was said to be “covered with iron roads.” We live about a mile from Enola where trains have been chugging by for nearly 150 years. The ones that go down the tracks now contain corn, soybeans and scrap metal.
I imagine what it must have been like to catch a ride there to Lincoln or even Columbus instead of making the drive. All those people who like to drive down Highway 81 as they read texts on their phone could sit comfortably on a train and do so instead.
The trouble with trains is that they have their own schedules of arrival and departure and we aren’t used to that. People can catch a plane when it’s necessary to travel a long way but they wouldn’t want to have to catch the train when they can hop in their vehicle when it’s more convenient for them. In large metro areas, people routinely take subways to get where they want to go and make it work, not even needing to own a car.
It’s a whole different mindset in the rural areas where we routinely get in our vehicles and drive 45 miles for business or pleasure.
The train proposed between Lincoln and Omaha is said to be a boon for young people who would have more job opportunities and older people who may not want to make the drive.
I’m thinking a Nebraskan of any age would like to hop on a high speed train and save time and fuel.
Maybe it’s time to go back to traveling by rail.