Rail Transit is the Future

Photo courtesy: James G. Howes

By: Ariel Wagner

Six months ago if you were to ask me about trains I would have told you that I thought they were “cool.” Ask me about trains today and I would begin with a very vehement, “Well, let me tell you about trains!”

I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with an exquisite team, Indiana Crossrails. It has been an experience of a lifetime, and I have become very zealous about mass rail transit.

I worked on the project as a historical researcher. My main topics of focus were women equality on the railroad and the military use of rail, primarily during the Civil War and World War II. Understanding the history of the railroad allowed for me to better grasp the impact rail will have for our future. Trains are a part of history AND they are the connection to the future. I never really understood the significance of their existence or how they could benefit my life until I finally listened to the whistle and looked past the clunking metal.

Trains helped fuel the American spirit. They are beautiful, mechanical beasts that showcase man’s imagination. They clunk past with aggression but with magnificent purpose that boosts American pride because man took a simple idea and created a beast of beauty. Trains are fascinating! They should be marveled for their greatness because they are intimidating creatures built by human ingenuity.

If it wasn’t for my involvement in Indiana Crossrails I never would have recognized the allurement and dependability mass rail transit has to offer. Small towns are the heart and backbone of America. Indiana is home to some of the quaintest small towns, allowing for an escape from the malevolence of the city, but they are becoming more like ghosts towns because people are not connected. Rail is the ticket. It can allow for small towns to again thrive because rail allows for an orderly guide in a chaotic life.

This project has TRAINSsformed my perspective on passenger rail. It is no longer just a topic of discussion, but something I am very passionate about. The simplicity, beauty, and meticulous nature of the project reminded me of how fast our world moves. The hustle and bustle, the traffic jams, the constant roadwork has become a norm, but I want the serenity that rail offers. Trains allow for passengers to slow down, to enjoy the scenery, and to remember that life isn’t always about the destination but the journey.

When I became a part of Indiana Crossrails I never knew how much it would affect me. Rail is the future. I am on board, are you?