Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Differences in National Attitudes Towards Rail

I want a rail tunnel. no, you heard me right the first time! I WANT A RAIL TUNNEL. ummm, I want ... two rail tunnels? yeah, yeah I want two rail tunnels!
Loetschberg base tunnel in the Swiss alps: go, go, go, oops, well that turned out to be quite expensive, we'll need to save some money for the next tunnel.
Gotthard base tunnel in the Swiss alps: go, go, go, no wait, make it better yeah. sweeet!
So when's the next one? We have to start planning RIGHT AWAY!

Brenner base tunnel in the Austrian-Italian alps: hold on a minute, I don't want to pay for this, YOU pay, fuck do I have to? well I suppose, maybe I will, man this thing is never gonna pay for itself, well I suppose we can so long as this is gonna be CHEAP. oh man where are we gonna get the money for it?

I suspect the Austrians only did it because the Swiss were making them look bad. The lousy cheapskates.

On the Swiss side, I have never seen any indication, or any concern whatsoever, that the duplicate Loetschberg and Gotthardt base tunnels are going to be uneconomical. It's just kind of assumed that they will be economical. Money just isn't a concern, these things will pay for themselves many times over in the next century or two.

The same thing can't be said about the Austrians. All I find is road companies and trucking companies tearing it down, and politicians finding one excuse or another to not do it, or having exceedingly delusional ideas about how little it's going to cost, or how much others are going to pay for it.

I guess that's the difference between direct democracy and totalitarian capitalism.

Oh and in case you're interested,

I am BUSY. Can't you see I'm building rail lines over here? Don't talk to me of tunnels, I don't like tunnels. And I'm busy. Just go away. Yes, yes, come back in 20 years.

What is rail?

Vy rail? Ve haf prisons to build! Ve need money for prisons!

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