Thoughts on the Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad

Last Friday afternoon, I had the pleasure of visiting the Golden Spike National Historic Site at Promontory Summit, Utah.  This is the location of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad on May 10, 1869.

When the idea of a Transcontinental Railroad was first suggested by Asa Whitney in 1830, the concept must have been just as far-fetched as suggesting in 1930 that we’d be walking on the moon in 1969.  Yet the vision of a Transcontinental Railroad took less than 40 years to come to fruition.  So why is a nation-wide, high-speed passenger rail system such a difficult vision for people to support today?  And how do we get citizens to support it?