Tell us: When do you wish you could have taken a train?

June 24, 2019

Can you share a story about when you thought, “I wish I could have taken a train!”

I think that a lot. Here’s a recent example.

Last week I traveled to Louisville to present at the Congress for New Urbanism. My talk was about how a focus on networks, instead of individual routes, will make it easier to build a coalition for fast trains.

I wish there was a train to Louisville.

The flight from Chicago was expensive. Getting past the TSA was demeaning and time-consuming.

I had considered driving, but it would have twice as expensive and twice as long.

But here’s the kicker. A high-speed train would have been faster than my flight home, gate-to-gate, and the fare would have been half as much. It was 2 hours and 30 minutes from the scheduled departure in Louisville until I stepped off the plane O’Hare. A high-speed train would do it in less than 2 hours.

One of the hidden downsides of flying from smaller cities: a 20-minute, five-mile-long odyssey from the runway to the gate at O'Hare.

Adding to my frustration was the knowledge that the expensive new runway we landed on at O’Hare was built largely to serve small planes to places like Louisville, Milwaukee, Bloomington and Indianapolis—all places that should be served by high-speed rail. That runway is so far away from the terminals that it requires 15 to 20 minutes of taxiing after landing. I used my phone to record the path our plane took from touchdown to gate. I measured it and it’s nearly five miles!

We all have these stories. What are yours? Why do you want more trains around the Midwest? We want to hear!

Send us your “I wish there was a train” story for a chance to win a poster. We’ll choose 10 winners from the entries we receive before July 15. And, if you’d like, we might feature your story in an upcoming newsletter.

Travel safe, and thanks as always for supporting the Midwest High Speed Rail Association!

Richard Harnish
Executive Director