In response to Mark Johnson's letter [Jan. 11]: Look at the maps. The Union Pacific tracks have fewer residents -- that's the point!
You might be hard pressed to find many residents along those tracks, it is mostly commercial, unlike the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which runs through densely populated residential areas.
I, too, love the sound of horns. I am an Amtrak user, and it "fascinates me that all that metal can actually stay on the track."
That's not what I am concerned about. A derailment worries me.
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I bought my house 16 years ago when there where four Amtrak trains a day and about 20 freight trains with significantly fewer cars per train. Since then, the volume of train travel has nearly quadrupled. I was aware of the 80-year-old study that stated the tracks were a "great danger."
While there is plenty of time for looking at those huge chunks of metal while you are waiting for the train to cross the intersection, let's hope that nice sounding, impressive piece of machinery doesn't impede an emergency vehicle in service to you or a loved one.
And last, I think of all the jobs that rail consolidation will create.