Daniel Peterson has an excellent Crossroads piece that exposes the hypocrisy of those who oppose freight and passenger rail investments even as other more costly forms of transport feed at the public trough.
If it's the subsidy of rail transportation that you oppose, then philosophical integrity requires that you also oppose subsidies for the trucks, barges, buses and airlines that compete with rail. Something more to think about: Railroads are four to five times more fuel efficient for moving freight than are trucks. And just one freight train with two crew members moves the equivalent of 400 semis with 400 drivers (which drain public coffers because "...one 80,000-pound truck does the same road damage as 9,600 automobiles.").
Money follows efficiency unless artificially tampered with, and so my assertion is that if the competing non-rail modes of transportation had not been artificially supported via massive subsidies, the private railroads in the U.S. would still be operating tens of thousands of miles of now abandoned rail lines.
Privately operated intercity and intracity passenger rail service might still be viable, as it was prior to the "freeway" system. Most freight would be on the rails instead of clogging up the roads, so we would have needed far fewer roads and lanes on expressways. And, therefore, our taxes would be significantly less today.
Oh, and that estimated $18 billion to expand one airport? Less than half that amount would build a high-speed rail network connecting Chicago-Milwaukee-Minneapolis, Chicago-St. Louis, Chicago-Indianapolis and Chicago-Detroit.
The article is linked.