On Friday’s “NewsHour” on PBS, New York Times columnist David Brooks said that although he wasn’t convinced that more spending on Amtrak might have prevented last week’s tragedy in Philadelphia involving a derailed train, overall spending more on U.S. infrastructure should be considered.
“I wonder if Acela usage makes people liberal. I’m in trouble. I take that thing four times a week to New Haven,” Brooks said. “I think there are two things to be separated, first, whether this crash could have been prevented with more spending. That, I’m less concerned — less convinced of. As we just heard, the implementation that would have been safety — that would have maybe prevented this crash — we really don’t know what caused it yet — were paid for and were being implemented. And maybe it was implemented too slowly, maybe not. But in this particular case, for some reason, the train was going a ridiculous — over 100 miles an hour. I can’t even imagine what that would have felt like. And so whether we could have prevented this, I’m not convinced.”
“Whether we should be spending more, it’s clear,” he continued. “For people like me who ride it constantly, the track bed, you feel it in different — you know if you ride it this much that you’re going fast in a certain stretch, and you’re going to terribly slow in another. Some of the things between the tracks are still made out of wood. And we’re just not spending enough on this, let alone the infrastructure, the bridges and all that other stuff. It’s not a controversial statement to say we should be spending hundreds of billions of dollars more on infrastructure.”
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor