This comes from the “comments” section on a post below. It states the obvious, but does it so perfectly, I moved it to the front page.
You can look at a map and see that many American cities are well situated for true European style HSR. Here are a few facts (with thanks to Loren Petrich.
I suggest demanding numbers from anyone who makes such density assertions. once worked out some numbers, comparing Paris – Lyon to Chicago – St. Louis:
Distance: 289 mi / 466 km
St. Louis: 2.8m
Distance: 297 mi / 479 km
To which I add London – Paris and NYC – DC:
Distance: 289 mi / 465 km
New York City: 19m
Washington, DC: 5.3m
Distance: 227 mi / 366 km
Additional sets of cities I leave as an exercise for the reader.
Populations are of metropolitan areas, distances are Google-Maps driving distances from the first city to the second.