High speed rail


I have to tell you that the high speed trains here in Korea are quite impressive.  And now, Korea is introducing the next generation of bullet trains.  Zipping through the countryside at 300km/hr in a smooth riding and comfortable coach is much more pleasant than the flying experience.  (Hey, click the links the videos are cool!)
It should be a matter of national shame that the USA has nothing comparable.  AMTRAK and the various commuter rail lines are still operating with 1950’s technology (and sometimes equipment).  Our rail service is a bad joke to say the least.

So, as long as Uncle Sam Obama is mortgaging the future of my grandchildren through massive and unprecedented deficit spending, they may as well gain the benefit of 21st century railroad technology.  Which made this announcement seem like something I could get behind:

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will today announce that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is awarding $8 billion to states across the country to develop America’s first nationwide program of high-speed intercity passenger rail service.  Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), these dollars represent an historic investment in the country’s transportation infrastructure, which will help create jobs and transform travel in America.  The announcement is one of a number of job initiatives the President will lay out in the coming weeks that follow up on the continued commitment to job creation he discussed in last night’s State of the Union Address.

Now, the Republic of Korea is about the size of Iowa, so I’m not suggesting that the USA develop a nationwide coast-to-coast high speed rail network.  The distances, travel time, and costs would not make such a project feasible.  However, a network of inter-city rail lines connecting major metropolitan areas within several hundred miles of each other does make sense.  I’m thinking that with all the airport waiting times associated with security screening, a bullet train would be a faster, more convenient, and energy efficient way to travel.

Think about it: The obvious Boston/New York/Philadelphia/DC corridor; maybe San Francisco/Los Angeles/San Diego/Las Vegas; and Milwaukee,/Chicago/ St. Louis; or perhaps Dallas/Houston/San Antonio–and more.  Once people get a taste of how enjoyable modern train travel can be they will be hooked.  If you build it they will come!

Try this on an airliner:


Ridin’ the rails in style!

7 thoughts on “High speed rail

  1. I know his hand and that is not his hand. However, judging from the bag of beef jerky he was there and probably behind the camera.

  2. A Public Transportation System is something the US could use, its great here in Germany to, you can get nearly anywhere with it, and for most long distances the German bullet train (called an ICE or inter-city express) are much faster than driving on the Autobahn.

    I don´t know if it could work in the US though, the US is just built with so much sprawl and suburbs, its hard to connect so much sprawl efficiently, atleast to the point where you have Public Transport within walking distance of your front door.

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