Friday, June 23, 2006

Hot rail, hot rail!

One of the things I miss about Tucson is the sound of the train whistle at night and in the early morning. Oahu used to have a working railroad, the Oahu Railway and Land Company (OR&L) shown above, built in 1889. The train was primarily used for the transporation of pineapple and sugar cane from the inland to the port. During WWII, the train was used to transport troops across the island, but was used little after 1947. In 1972, it closed down all remaining operations.

Now the city is proposing to develop a light rail system, which at the cost of $3-4 billion has a lot of people talking about the future of transportation in Hawaii. When you come to visit, you will realize that the transportation in and around Honolulu is a mess. The highways were all built around the already developed city, and it is easily one of the most confusing and difficult places to drive in the country. For instance, the airport is approximately 10 miles from our house. On a good day, it will take 20 minutes to drive there. On a bad day (like the day we had to catch our plane to the Big Island) it can take 1 1/2 hours. There are just too many cars here and not enough road. I have heard that during tsunumi warnings, there are more cars than roads, so people end up just sitting in their cars waiting for the big wave to come take them away...

With more housing developments outside of town, and more people commuting into town for work, the light rail system makes sense. But where will the money come from? I don't know enough about it yet to have any sort of opinion, but I just wanted to bring up the topic to see if anyone has any ideas.

Have a great weekend! Kyle is away for a week, so I am going camping with Anna in Kualoa valley where they shot Jurassic Park and the tv show Lost. So exciting!!

1 comment:

KHampton said...

Something about that picture really makes me happy.