The World's newest "bullet train" has made its first public appearance. It's in South Korea, although the train itself was made in France, which has had high-speed rail service for decades. So has Japan. The new Korean train lops a full two hours off the travel time from Seoul to Pusan--a distance of 205 miles. It carries 900 passengers at 186 miles an hour.
Why am I telling you all this about a passenger train in Korea? Because we have no passenger train service at any speed from Wilmington to anywhere! We speak grandiosely of creating an inter-modal transportation center in Wilmington which would concentrate access to all methods of getting from here to there, including trains, in one building! Without laying new tracks, if--and that's a big "if"--we ever see passenger train service return to the Port City, to go from Wilmington to Raleigh, the intrepid train traveler would have to go West-by-Northwest to Hamlet, (122 miles), and then head North-by-Northeast to Raleigh (another 100 miles-plus). That's more than the distance from Seoul to Pusan. And that's a shame, especially for Wilmington, which was once home to one of the country's premier railroads, and had a fine back-in train station on North Front Street.
Those were the days. Now there's only half-heartedly supported Amtrak, and it's a hundred miles away--half the distance from Seoul to Pusan.
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