President Franklin D. Roosevelt preferred traveling the country by train, especially between Washington and his home in Hyde Park, N.Y. He traveled in train cars with upgraded equipment suited to his comfort, mobility and security requirements.
Had something such as the superconducting magnetic-levitation train — SCMaglev, for short — been available, I cannot imagine Roosevelt (or any New Dealer) endorsing a “no-build” option. The New Dealers were all about planning and building projects to better unify the nation, provide jobs, promote the movement of people and ideas, and get the nation out of its Depression-era doldrums. They led innovative projects and programs in housing, transportation, agriculture, jobs creation, manufacturing, education, anti-poverty, conservation and the arts.
Roosevelt would have endorsed the environmentally friendly SCMaglev rapid-rail project between Washington and Baltimore and eventually to New York. He would have promoted the development of renewable energy sources — such as wind and solar — to help meet our 21st-century energy needs, as well as NASA’s James Webb space telescope and rovers on Mars. The Roosevelts had no patience for maintaining the status quo. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “How hard it is to project oneself into the future. We are always prone to think of the conditions which are with us today as being permanent conditions.”
We won’t know until next year whether the project is given the green light by the various government agencies involved in the approval process. But the SCMaglev rapid-rail project in the congested Northeast corridor is very much needed.
Robert Snyder, Greenbelt