Trains For America

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Texas State Senate approves HSR corporation

This is really ironic. Years ago, Southwest Airlines, a company much admired on TFA, killed Texas’ plans for HSR. Today, the vision is almost European in style. It is a lot of work and investment, but not impossible. Things change a lot in 20 years.

“The state has grown since then and our population has grown substantially,” he said. “In the years to come, air travel is apt to become more expensive, not less, and high-speed rail provides an alternative for our transportation needs.”

Another major change from the previous effort is that the system would likely be centered on the major airports in the state, he said.

And I would still approve Southwest operating the HSR system.

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

Imfrastructurist: high speed rail edition

It’s a cool link. A sample:

There’s more. Check it out.

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

Tennessee has a push for HSR and Maglev

Tennessee has been, until now, not much discussed in the HSR  developments. Since my base of operation in Little Rock is so close to Memphis, that seems a shame. Today, the statewide paper, The Tennessean ran an editorial that contained plenty of good info.

The element that makes for “high-speed” rail is the use of magnetic levitation technology where rail cars float just above the guide rail, drawn in motion by magnets, in a process known as “mag-lev.” Such a line could move up to 310 mph. An Atlanta-to-Chattanooga line would alleviate crowding at the large Atlanta airport, would be a 54-minute ride and would cost an estimated $5 billion. A Nashville-to-Chattanooga line would be a 52-minute ride and would cost $5.4 billion. The estimated cost of a round-trip Nashville-to-Chattanooga ticket would be $75.

The development of conventional fast trains would be appreciated. Let’s be futuristic. How about a Memphis-Nashville-Knoxville-Asheville-Charlotte train to make connections with the Crescent and the northeast corridor?

Or a Memphis-Fort Worth corridor serving dozens of smaller towns?

These things are possible with a little determination and leadership.

Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Politics, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, United States High Speed Rail

WSJ: California and Florida out front for HSR funding

The Wall Street Journal has  an excellent report concerning Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s asessment that Florida and California are way ahead of the curve on HSR.

Be seated for the last line and follow the link to the story.

Mr. LaHood said President Barack Obama “believes very deeply” that the U.S. should embark on a decades-long effort to establish a national network of high-speed passenger rail service, akin to the interstate-highway system launched by President Dwight D. Eisenhower more than five decades ago. The U.S. has to date spent more than $1 trillion to build and maintain the interstate highway system.

The Obama administration, in budget details released Thursday, said it wants to spend another $1 billion annually on high-speed rail over the next five years. Congress must approve the use of that $5 billion as part of its review of the fiscal 2010 budget.

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

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