In a different forum, I have argued that a real economic stimulus package would be to electrify the nation’s railroads. I believe that this is a good plan because:
1. It would reduce the nation’s consumption of liquid fuel, which is a finite resource.
2. A blanket design and permitting program could make this ‘shovel ready’ in approximately two days.
3. This would put workers immediately to work throughout the Country.
4. Global warming is BS, in my opinion, but if you are a believer, electric railroads would reduce greenhouse emissions, if/when nuclear generation capacity is expanded.
5. Right-of-way issues, that would take years or decades to resolve on standard land transmission lines, have already been solved along railroad lines.
6. The design would be standardized, and work could begin immediately, in all fifty states. This is the best use of ‘stimulus’ money, in my opinion.
7. The Northeast corridor is already electrified, and works fine, last time I checked.
8. The American locomotive fleet could simply be outfitted to replace the diesel generator with an electrical connection.
9. Once the railroads are electrified, overall thermal efficiency would rise from the low twenties to the high thirties.
I, Bill, hereby offer my design services to the federal government. My price is $12 million. The design will be correct.