Every week, California high-speed rail has more up and down waves than its famed surf. It’s on, it’s off, the money is there, wait – nope, it’s not. Meanwhile, the rest of the world isn’t bogging down their high-speed plans in tedious legislature. However, there is some new news coming from other parts of the U.S. – like a new East Coast high-speed train and a speedy new link deep in the heart of Texas. Here’s hoping it doesn’t go the way of The Alamo.
Bullets Will Reign Worldwide
Europe, China and Japan aren’t the only places where high-speed travel is growing. The U.S. is now being surpassed by some surprising countries: think Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan. Even the rest of the world is asking, “What’s taking us so long?” For one, other nations, especially in Europe, have a train culture, because the price of gas is two-to-three times more expensive than here. What are some other reasons why other countries are chugging along faster than we are?
The Benefits of California HSR Outweighs the Costs
Or so says two new reports on the stalled project. Just in time for a crucial vote in the California State Legislature on releasing the voter-approved high-speed rail bonds, these reports highlight the potential economic, environmental, and quality-of-life benefits of the project. Each carefully assesses the risks involved with the new plans, and includes recommendations. What are they?
Opening the Northeast Corridor
Could we have a new East Coast-West Coast rivalry on our hands? California HSR may be on life support, but a new East Coast high-speed rail network is in the works. Massachusetts is interested in rail expansion, which would run from New Haven, Connecticut, go through Hartford and make local stops all the way to Springfield. The fiscal strength of the New England states gives this project a much stronger advantage over California. Are there other signs that this project could actually come to fruition?
What’s 10 Billion Between Friends?
That’s all it would take to create a high-speed link between Fort Worth and Houston. The Texas Central Railway is trying to raise the money, insisting the cost per ticket would be cheaper than taking a plane – and far more pleasant. Traveling at speeds over 200mph, how long would the trip take?