Trains For America

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LaHood: Obama wants HSR to be his “signature achievement”

In a short update the Washington Post mentions that Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has sent the White House a memo outlining ways to get high-speed rail rolling in the United States. Presumably that involves smart allocation of that $8 billion in stimulus money. Here’s an interesting quote about the President’s view on high-speed rail that’s certainly in line with the shift in attitude we’ve seen since just a few months ago.

The memo identified several potential high-speed rail corridors in the country and addressed potential means of paying for a system. LaHood said President Obama wants to make high-speed rail a signature achievement of his presidency.

There’s a thought. The Obama High-Speed Rail System. I’d like go on about this topic, but London calls urgently with both business and pleasure. Thoughts on what one man can do in four (or eight) years?

Filed under: Amtrak, ,

11 Responses

  1. Alex says:

    Wow.. This is huge. Very encouraging.

  2. Paul says:

    While I am more encouraged, there is still a major missing piece to all of this: A Dedicated LONG TERM funding source – think highway trust fund. Even that fund falls short but at least there is a steady base of funds which is not dependent on the whims of congress and a Dem. Pres.

  3. Ned says:

    Yes, very encouraging but the reality is it will probably be something along the lines of Eisenhower’s jump starting of the interstate highway system, not the actual build out of high speed rail during President Obama’s term in office.

  4. Cal says:

    Yes a long term dedicated funding plan is a must..look at all the “pork” whining with just the 8billion…California HSR needs at least 12 billion from

  5. Paul says:

    Glad to hear others had the same thought on funding.

    Clearly there is an opportunity here for Obama to build something big! How about the “Obama High Speed Interstate Rail System” or OHSIRS

  6. Allan says:

    A dedicated funding source? How about fares???

    The Highway Trust Fund is funded by fuel taxes that the users pay.

    Why do you want passenger rail to be gov’t supported and not self-sufficient???

  7. Cal says:

    As wasthe Interstate system the federal goverment needs to help with the first the systems grown they will be able to expand and at some point there can be some fee added just like the airlines…United and American Airlines did not build the first airports nor do they now..the pay rent for the gates..ect .The gas tax is a different situation its private cars using public roads and it does not even cover the real cost

  8. jon says:

    assuming everything goes to plan with CA HSR, it is projected to be profitable, in fact $1billion in profit a year… according to the CAHSRA

  9. Ran says:

    I think the CAHSRA will also have the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy collecting tickets on board, too.

  10. urbanist says:

    6 – Fuel taxes absolutely do not pay for all the costs of highways. It is a myth that highways are self-supporting.

  11. Anonymous says:

    yo no queiro

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February 2009


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