Getting on Board 

As a graduate of VPI and having strong appreciation of train systems, I would like to comment on the Ashland rail town's future ("Railroaded," News & Features, April 30).

If Amtrak decides on abandoning the Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad, it is very shortsighted. Gasoline prices will not come down but only go up. So the old line should be connected to the planned high-speed train system at various places so that people who live alongside of the old line can use both lines effectively. The old rail is also valuable transportation for students of Randolph-Macon College.

You should tell readers how a train system can be valuable in the future, say 10, 20, 30 years or beyond. The old line can be improved using the advanced technology developed by the Japanese railroad industry. Particularly, operation and management technology should be extremely useful for the line.

People should go to Japan and ride trains of both local lines and high-speed lines and learn more about the usefulness of train services.

Hitoshi Maruyama, Ph.D

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