Letters to the Editor

Switch the trains

Regarding rail consolidation, excuse the pun, but I believe Fresno should abandon its one-track approach. I propose an alternative -- not a complete solution, but an alternative that has some probability of actually occurring, unlike past consolidation proposals.

I recommend doing a "flip." The Burlington Northern Santa Fe has up to 50 freight trains per day. On the other hand, the Union Pacific has about 15 freights per day. If the railroads were to "flip" their operating facilities, we would experience far less freight traffic through the middle of Fresno.

Amtrak is not part of the problem with traffic congestion. Amtrak trains are speedy, short, run at even intervals throughout the day and do not haul hazardous waste.

The separate facilities owned by the railroads are not entirely interchangeable. However, there may be a mutual advantage to both, in that BNSF would have faster freight going through Fresno and UP would pick up the leasing revenue from Amtrak. Funds from Measure C could be used to offset the costs of the "flip."

James P. Witherow