Do the dimming prospects for high-speed rail in the Midwest brighten prospects for high-speed rail in the Mid-Atlantic?
Republicans who won gubernatorial elections in various Midwestern states do not appear fond of high-speed rail and similar projects. As they address their budget challenges, they do not seem eager to commit state revenue even to proposals that enjoy federal support. And if the states do not ante up, Washington is prepared to pull the funding.
The Charlotte Observer notes that North Carolina enthusiastically has backed rail enhancements, including improved service between Raleigh and Richmond. North Carolina and Virginia do not want high-speed to stop at Washington’s Union Station. (Although “high-speed” remains the preferred reference, “higher-speed” is more accurate. Bullet trains similar to those in Europe and Japan are not on the U.S. horizon.) Virginia’s state and regional leaders have promoted the high-speed concept.