Trains: We've been there before

Image by Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division This 1872 drawing of the Charleston Peninsula shows an extensive network of rail snaking through the streets. Commuter rail supporters would like to see a little bit of that spirit return.

With all the talk of high gas prices, road widenings, and commuter rail, The Post and Courier thought they'd remind us rail was once a very common and useful form of transpiration for Charlestonians.

The obvious response? Well, the horse and buggy was also pretty useful once. But, the trains of yesterday were just as fast as modern transport on I-26, at least during rush hour. The Post and Courier says: "Some trains stopped at Midland Park, Ashley Phosphate and 10 other depots. Despite the stops, the Summerville to Charleston trip took just 45 minutes."

Take into account the speed gain of modern rail but the need to drive and park at a rail hub, and you have a pretty good argument for the perks of commuter rail.

While you wait for the ensuing debate over commuter rail to make it to a referendum near you: Zoom in and explore the birds-eye map above, or read The Post and Courier's bit of train nostalgia, or check out photos of historic train features in Charleston.

Or get fired up and dig through our archives on traffic stories.

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