• Nick_Nehamas

    Ran into David Gergen on a bumpy express train from NYC to Boston. He commented via twitter: “US must push hi speed rail. Am told Acela averages 68 mph vs 160 Japan.”


  • QA Wagstaff

    Europe is collapsing as we speak from its debt. The vast majority of average Europeans don’t take High Speed rail. It’s a myth. Check the traffic in London, Paris, or Rome, its terrible.

    China has a Trade surplus. They actually can afford the program.maybe our idiot politicians should concentrate on improving ours?

    We can’t build anything anymore in this country for competitive costs.

    • JRLatitudeNews

      Thanks very much for your comment.

      I agree that “average Europeans” probably don’t take HS rail, given the cost. As Mr. Jan says in the story above, HS rail is only successful where there is relative wealth (i.e. people who can afford it). The Acela from Boston to New York Penn Station costs $104 to $173, with an additional $78 for first class. It’s way cheaper to take the bus. So if by average you mean non-wealthy, this makes sense to me.

      But even if the average European doesn’t take HS rail, that doesn’t mean ridership on the rails is low. “According to 2011 year-in-review Eurostat figures,” Jan says, “the passenger volume on EU-15 high speed rail networks…has increased some 10.5% (CAGR) annually since 1990.”

      Thanks again for speaking up,
      Jack Rodolico

      • http://www.facebook.com/prestonburford Preston Burford

        The Acela has the highest ridership of any train line in the US. Yah it’s expensive, but so is flying a plane. 11 million people rode the train last year. You are right about the bus comment, but that works with planes, or owning a car as well. How about riding a bike… that’s cheaper than a bus. Or walking. I think the whole point of HSR is to have an alternative option to flying, and hopefully when the system gets larger and faster, a faster alternative also.

        I agree that money is a big problem, but if we can spend trillions on the defense budget, I think a few billion on a proper train system isn’t out of the question. Here’s an idea, put the high speed tracks above the wide median of the interstates so that we don’t have to buy as much land. Highways have gradual curves that would be perfect for high speed rail. The interstates go between all the major cities.

        And passenger service isn’t the only thing that HSR would be good for. It can ship goods as well. Cargo trains could move faster than 65mph and goods would get places faster and cheaper than using planes. And have we forgotten that airports cost well over 10 billion to build, and that the government usually pays a lot of that. The interstates don’t make money… they loose money. So why does a train have to make a huge profit? It’s about having a high speed transit going into the heart of many cities.

        • Jack Rodolico

          Thanks for your comment, Preston. You are definitely right that HSR is not in direct competition with cars and buses (or bikes!). In the areas where it works best, there is a great enough distance between cities that, currently, flying is the cheapest, fastest option. If you build a HSR line, then the trains can grab market share from the planes. This is the situation many are hoping for in California. I suppose the Northeast corridor is unique, though, in that there are so many other well-established, inexpensive travel options beside planes. Driving (if you own a car) or taking a bus from Boston to NY is the cheapest way to go. From there, the Acela is a jump in price – as is a plane. So it all depends on how much you want to spend, or if you want someone else to do the driving for you.

          Jack Rodolico

  • Sanakius

    of course finding 10 billion of government money to fund railways is always outrageous and very communist but when the same government re-locates over 1.5 TRILLION dollars for development of F-35 fighter that will protect your over-crowded under-developed out-rated cities and infrastructure then its okei.. after all, its our duty to protect our country! )) Dumbass americano..always the dumbass mentality.. so communism works just right but only if you fund for destruction of other nations, god forbid you citizens would fund railways or healthcare.. USA is the joke of the world.. people are laughing at your stupidity and inability to use brains..