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James R. Blaze is director of strategic planning and special studies at ZETA-TECH Associates Inc. in Cherry Hill, N.J., where he specializes in rail industry planning and economics. Blaze's rail career spans 35 years and includes work in federal, state and planning organizations and 21 years as a Conrail strategic manager:
Q. According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, funding for rail projects is about half of what is needed to meet freight demands. Why is it so difficult to get funding?
A. There are too many projects on the drawing boards and no defined logic that delineates public- and private-sector responsibility. How much money is needed--$50 billion, $70 billion? …