Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Reality check on HSR (and it’s a good thing)

Niel Pierce has a column for the National League of Cities web site. He takes quite a strong positron on financing true European style HSR (not entirely against) but writes about the current situation with a great deal of clarity.

But a robust American rail system is about more than tracks and train sets. It will make us less oil dependent, undergirding our national security. It will lower our carbon emissions. And it can contribute in a big way to the mobility and economic health of “megaregions,” those metropolitan areas where most Americans now live.

A prime example: the prospect of a Chicago-centered “hub and spoke” rail system to serve the Midwest. With top train speeds increased to 110 miles an hour, two hours would be trimmed off the Chicago-Detroit or Chicago-Cleveland runs. Equally vital: the convenience of frequent service. Chicago-Detroit daily round trips would rise from three to nine, for example, and Chicago-Milwaukee service from eight to 17.

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

2 Responses

  1. Allan says:

    I think many are starting to realize that we can get more bang for the buck with “fast” rather than HSR.

  2. patlynch says:

    Exactly. There is, I think, a small shift in transportation culture beginning. This needs to develop into a culture where riding on a train is practical and a normal transportation choice.

    The Midwest region can see some very big results, quickly and affordably.

    California and Texas are two areas where true European style HSR might be built. I would include Florida, but they are just about as backwards as Arkansas.

    No, excuse me, Arkansas has not tossed away $100 million in transit funding.

    OK, enough of me. I’m not ready for Leno.

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