trešdiena, 2011. gada 23. februāris

Trains in Latvia.. wishful thinking?

There was a chat on green carpet today about transport and trains back where I come from- Latvia. Very green and beautiful country with great nature and really bad infrastructure.
The motorways are always in a bad condition due to the climate and mostly due to heavy traffic that overloads the roads there. Everybody has a car. And those who haven't- they coose the bus instead of train or other rail transport? Why so??
Well, I remember rarely but still once in a while finding myselfin a need of using the train. It's bad. It's too hot in summer and cold in winter. Depending on a destination, sometimes there are no trains every 15min, but couple in a day only. They are not comfortable at all- the seats are uncomfy, some of them still quite old. And they are not that fast. And then we started "daydreaming"..
How amazing that would be to have new, high speed trains that would go often and on convenient times that you could get everywhere and they wouldn't be neither half empty nor too crowded? If they had comfy seats, some with a "table" in the middle of seats, so you could have your breakfast, read your newspaper spread out or work on your laptop (which also could be plugged-in)? If you could easily switch trains at the station to get to the part of the city you have to be?
That would be a) much greener way to commute to work instead of a personal car or a bus; b) much more convenient way to commute for busy business people and students, who would like to spend their time on the way more usefully than driving a car in a traffic jam (reading, working etc); c) that would take a lot of traffic off the road so those people who must use a car could get everywhere faster, easier and roads would not be damaged that much.
The question is- how possible this vision is for a country in a recession, for a country that has bad experience in public procurement and for a country, where car is a status?
I'll have to spend some time to find out, how to make this tought presentable to Latvian Railway and Ministry of Transport. And how to make trains attractive to everybody starting from a school kid to a businessman.

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