Need proof that high-speed rail can be an effective stimulus that is more than competitive with air travel? We’ve been talking about Spain’s system for quite a while, but NPR has a nice bite-size 4.5 minute story about the country’s rail turnaround.
They interview Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, who toured Spain’s network recently, and he of course mentions the Midwest HSR plan. It’s a bit misleading as Spain’s system is very different from what’s proposed around Chicago, and Spain’s $100 billion investment next year dwarfs our [much valued] $8 billion. But people are becoming curious about HSR because of the stimulus package, and pieces like this are spreading the word that rapid trains are competitive, modern, and a great way to stimulate the national economy. We need more of this and fewer dismissive lies from HSR deniers like Bobby Jindal.