Saturday, February 13, 2010
High Speed Rail - USA #2! If Only...
China will open 42 high speed railway lines in 2012. Europe already has a high speed rail system and is building more lines. And the mighty USA....well, we will hopefully open a high speed 84 mile rail line between Orlando and Tampa in 2014. A high speed rail line between Anaheim, CA and San Francisco should break ground shortly.
But guess who is building those rail lines in the US? Guess who will pay for a proposed maglev rail line between Anaheim and Las Vegas?
The USA currently has one high speed railway connecting Boston with NYC. It's average speed is 68 MPH (although it reaches 150 MPH for short stretches). A high speed railway in Germany speeds along at 205 MPH and has reached speeds up to 226 MPH. China has a maglev train that can reach 311 MPH but cruises at 268 MPH.
Yes, high speed rail is expensive to build at 20 million dollars per mile. The Federal interstate highway system was expensive too. But think of the jobs that would be created if the USA built high speed rail using US manufacturers and labor. Think of how much such a system would reduce our need to inport oil and as a side effect, benefit the climate.
Why are we unwilling to make such an investment? Why are we willing to sit around and exclaim how great we are as a nation, yet settle for 2nd place in so many areas? The rest of the world is leaving us in their dust because the average American is unwilling to make sacrifices for their country.