Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Another anti-passenger rail myth bites the dust

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:

Paris: 12m
Lyon: 1.8m
Distance: 289 mi / 466 km
Chicago: 9.8m
St. Louis: 2.8m
Distance: 297 mi / 479 km

To which I add London – Paris and NYC – DC:

London: 14m
Paris: 12m
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.

Filed under: Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, Regional USA Passenger Rail, United States High Speed Rail

5 Responses

  1. Robert says:

    Also note there are no major bodies of water between NY and DC.

  2. Deacon says:

    Thats excellent! I found myself google mapping like a fiend! In any event Rail makes more sense over such distances than Air travel. Its more efficient in terms of the time of travel and energy usage. Living in Texas, I did the calculations with distances starting from Dallas. Dallas – Austin, Dallas – San Antonio, Dallas – Houston and then various combinations of all the others. It is my thinking that a HSR Service in Texas will be on of the easier ones to implement considering that Texas is rather flat with very few grade changes to deal with.

  3. Cal says:

    One problem we have here they dont have is these giant sprawl rings
    that HSR must pass thru to reach the centers of these cities. Here in CA the high speed line must pass thru 50miles of this type of towns before reaching San Francisco..and we are starting to hear nimbys complaining already.

  4. Motts McGregor says:

    Great post. For a real wake-up call, how about New York / Chicago and Beijing / Shanghai.


  5. Ran says:

    @Robert – the Hudson, the Delaware, the Susquehanna, and the Chesapeake are not insignificant bodies of water.

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