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January 14, 2010 • 9:42 pm
Making high speed rail a reality in the United States is critical to the nation’s economic and environmental future. The Western High Speed Rail Alliance is …
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[…] spotted this Video over on Trans 4 America. Its a promo peace for Midwest […]
Just a lot of talking, with no possible routes presented and no video of what high-speed trains are like.
However, the WHSRA’s site – http://www.whsra.com/ – does give some more detail. Its Maps tab shows its proposed routes. LA – LV is already covered by the FRA, so its proposed routes are
LA – Phoenix
LV – Phoenix
LV – Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City – Reno
Salt Lake City – Denver
No mention of Boise or Albuquerque, but that’s dependent on Idaho and New Mexico joining the WHSRA.
I think that the most feasible route is LA – Phoenix, with LV – Phoenix being next. Phoenix – Tucson regional rail would also be good, and a possible part of such a network.
However, IMO, Salt Lake City is too far from other major cities, for feasible HSR service, except perhaps to Boise.
It should be LA-to LV to SLC and another line from LA to PHX to ALBQ to Santa Fe to Denver and maybe a faster ski resort train to Vail with stops in between.
” … critical to the nation’s economic and environmental future.”
Their map is pretty unimpressive, apparently because they are tightly focused on member states, and even then it doesn’t make good sense.
How can they claim that such long, long routes as Salt Lake City-Las Vegas and SLC-Reno come ahead of San Francisco Bay Area-Sacramento-Reno? A short route widely discussed, but absent here, would center on Denver-Colorado Springs, with easy extensions to Fort Collins and Cheyenne, WY to the north, and to Pueblo to the south, and ultimately a long route to Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and El Paso. And yeah, Phoenix-Tucson should be near the top. It isn’t, one assumes, because politically, Arizona already got two routes, to L.A. and Las Vegas.
It would be easier to take these proposals seriously if they got serious.
It should be noted, however, that actual construction costs on some of these Western lines could be relatively cheap. For example, much of the land between Las Cruces is government-owned, or empty desert if privately-owned, with few costly overpasses to replace grade crossings needed.
Much of the land between Las Cruces and Albuquerque is empty desert, I meant to say.
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