Trains For America

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Mica on High-Speed Rail

Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Republican Leader John L. Mica (R-FL) statement on the need for billions of dollars in pending high-speed rail investments in the United States to be wisely spent.He argues that the original $8 billion should be spent on true (European-style) HSR projects reaching speeds of over 150 mph. He foresees three such projects and makes a compelling case for the northeast corridor. It is hard to argue with that logic.TFA presumes that the other two demonstration projects will be Illinois and California. Florida has only demonstrated the ability to build political deceptions.One would presume that California and Illinois would be the other two test sites. But there we go again, using reason and logic on a political matter. All of this has implications for Amtrak long distance service, which is the perpetual red headed stepchild. One area where Mica could use some help is the concept of “high performance rail.” Funds used on HPR are not necessarily misspent, even if not properly included in the HSR demo allocations. Many medium sized cities can logically be connected by HPR, which is much cheaper to put in place.

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October 2009