More high speed rail

I decided to see what others are saying about High Speed Rail in the US.  The Cynical Synapse has this to say:

A recent poll of over 24,000 by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) found 62% would ride high speed rail if it was available and competetive in time and price with flying or driving. I’ll bet the number would go up if it meant avoiding full body scanners and/or “enhanced” pat downs. Amtrak wants to cut time from Detroit to Chicago from 5-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours. I’d call that competive with driving. Round trip on Amtrak costs $62-84 depending on times. Airfare starts at $190, so travel by rail is more cost effective than flying. The problem is 5-1/2 hours takes too long while 3-1/2 hours makes skipping the security lines at the airport worth it.

If Amtrak could knock that figure down another hour with the type of trains the Chinese have, I’m sure even more people would find rail an attractive option.

Blue Cheddar mentions that 650 people attended a recent hearing on passenger rail in Minnesota packing the ballroom where it was held. Most of the attendees were pro-Rail. Blue Cheddar mentions a Badger Herald article about the hearing. The proposal of a high-speed rail system between Milwaukee and the Twin Cities is driven by the current transportation system’s limitations and the increased travel demand. A Minnesota DoT study has found current modes of transportation do not meet the current demands impacting the transportation system’s infrastructure.

Some peole are finding that building more roads for traffic to stagnate is not the solution.

Other bloggers are pointing out that the Chinese are leaving the US behind with Chinese high-speed rail technology. Ilook China mentions that the latest generation of Chinese High Speed trains will crisscross the country at speeds up to 400 kilometers or 248 miles an hour. I’m sure that type of speed would get people to take the train from Detroit to Chicago, or even further! More importantly, high speed rail is what China is using to stimulate its economy. Originally Chinese plans for high-speed rail were set in the future; however, faced with about 15 million job losses due to the 2008 global economic crises caused by US banks and Wall Street greed, China put six-million people back to work in 2009 by moving this project forward.

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