The snazziest way to get to Beijing from Tianjin – at 350kph
President Obama on Thursday highlighted his ambition for the development of high-speed passenger rail lines in at least 10 regions, expressing confidence in the future of train travel even as he acknowledged that the American rail network, compared with the rest of the world’s, remains a caboose…
“What we need, then, is a smart transportation system equal to the needs of the 21st century,” he said, “a system that reduces travel times and increases mobility, a system that reduces congestion and boosts productivity, a system that reduces destructive emissions and creates jobs.”
The government has identified 10 corridors, each from 100 to 600 miles long, with greatest promise for high-speed development.
They are: a northern New England line; an Empire line running east to west in New York State; a Keystone corridor running laterally through Pennsylvania; a major Chicago hub network; a southeast network connecting the District of Columbia to Florida and the Gulf Coast; a Gulf Coast line extending from eastern Texas to western Alabama; a corridor in central and southern Florida; a Texas-to-Oklahoma line; a California corridor where voters have already approved a line that will allow travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles in two and a half hours; and a corridor in the Pacific Northwest.
Only one high-speed line is now operating, on the Northeast corridor between Washington and Boston, and it will be eligible to compete for money to make improvements.
This is so long overdue it’s hard to comment about. If you know anything about mixed transportation modes, if you’ve ever spent any time traveling in most of the civilized world outside the U.S. – you know about high speed trains.
It’s just Congress and American voters who specialize in ignorance on the topic.