Save the Rail
I wrote this last week and set it up to auto-post and, of course, the night before, we get nine (and maybe more) folks snuffed out in what is otherwise a routine Metro accident — trains on the same track hitting each other. Which is something I thought only happened in Old West movies, yet this isn’t the first time two Metro trains have collided, and everyone riding the line that crashed last night has passed through the Brentwood graveyard of crashed trains. Metro likes to keep them out in the open, torn up and smashed and clearly illustrating that we’re all riding in aluminum cans driven by brain dead people who can’t even pronounce “Rhode Island” correctly.
Regardless, these things happen. Unlike Joe Biden, I am still a rail supporter even in times of crisis. Mainly because I’d end up killing more than nine people if I had to drive to work. So the article below stands.
If there’s one thing I hate, as a Marylander and DC suburban slave, it’s these fucking Save the Trail assholes.
So, back when dinosaurs ruled America from the White House, there was a train line that went through Silver Spring and Bethesda, connecting Forest Glen and other now sleepy bedroom suburbs. Today known as the Capital Crescent Trail, it was once a right of way for the Georgetown branch of the B&O. Trains stopped running in the 80’s and, for a decade or so, it was a lovely little abandoned rail line that did cool things like travel under Bethesda’s tall buildings and span Rock Creek with a big old scary burned out trestle.
For me, it was a quiet little getaway paradise. I could walk home from my high school in Bethesda, enjoying the urban decay and relative solitude (except for the occasional pipe-smoking writer, bamboo-smoking hippie child molester, and punk rock wannabe suburban kid). Up until the early 90’s, the trestle was passable and took you up into the woods to a boxcar graveyard where, in the 80’s and early 90’s, you could play hide and seek and, in the later 90’s, you could get raped and mugged.
Then, at the end of the 90’s, they converted it to a hiking and biking trail. They fixed up the scary trestle, they paved the shit out of the rail corridor, and they fancied it up. In Bethesda, they turned the underground portions into glaringly bright cattle runs with high fencing on either side of the trail. To be fair, that was probably a good idea. It used to be a wild tunnel of pitch black death, inhabited by bums and full of weird little cubby holes that led up into the buildings. Of course, my friends and I constantly ran around down there in a sort of Logan’s Run freak-out, flashlights catching hobos off guard and crawling around tight spaces. Those grimy tunnels were where I received my first blow job in high school. The girl threw up on me. Also, three girls were raped and killed down there, which was alarming in those pre-Clinton years.
Well, lately, they’ve wanted to create the “Purple Line,” which is the ultimate testament to the DC area’s transportation flaws. The Metro system is designed to bring the suburbanites down into the city. But, duh, nobody wanted to go down to DC and get shot and kicked in the teeth every day, so the suburbs started turning into mini-cities. Now everybody works in a tight belt of gentrified urban horror outside of the city and the Metro is largely useless because it takes 40 minutes to go around the loop to cover two points that are only about three miles apart. You might as well walk from Silver Spring to Bethesda. It will certainly be cheaper.
The Purple Line will connect everyone in a reasonable, rational way using existing rail corridors. That’s an important note – Remember, a train ran along the Capital Crescent Trail for 100 years. Yet the Save the Trail fuckos have the following as one of their primary concerns:
Over 4,500 trees would be clear-cut — destroying a beautiful natural buffer that protects residential communities and the trail from pollution and noise.
Well, first of all, that’s an exaggeration. What, are these trains going to be double-wide trailers? They’re going to use the existing corridor. Yes, there will be environmental damage… But it will pale in comparison to the obscene damage inflicted on that corridor when they fucking paved it. Not only did they clear cut all around the trestle to rebuild it, but they had to clear cut what was a lovely overgrown path to make room for the nice, fancy, rich people’s trail. And, of course, paving the entire goddamn trail does nothing but create more pollution, runoff, and erosion than, say, the old rail bed…or a mulched trail. These assholes pave 11 miles of forest and then raise the environmentalist flag? Really?
And don’t take my word for it. Before the Purple Line hoopla, the trail people wanted to widen it. There was a proposal to widen the trail to 16 feet. That 4500 clear-cut figure is actually what would have been involved in widening the trail if those fucks had their way.
Bring on the trains! The county gets more jobs and a better transportation route that links the two most important mini-cities and vital points in between. The convenience and renewal provided by the Purple Line is…well, impossible to imagine in this sad, backwards country of ours.
And I hope the trains do run over the Save the Trail people’s children. They’re worried about that, too. (Psst – don’t let your kids play on the railroad tracks. That’s today’s helpful hint.)