It turns out we CAN have high-speed trains in the US. It just requires some political courage. Take it from a journalist whose new book was just published. It’s called Train.
While Europeans and Asians zip around on super-fast trains, Americans crawl around at last-century speeds. But author Tom Zoellner says high-speed trains would do well in four places in the US: The Northeast Corridor, between Houston and Dallas, between Minneapolis and Chicago, and between San Francisco to Los Angeles.
The trouble is, politicians won’t spend the money. Take Minneapolis to Chicago. A whole lot of flights serve the cities—a waste of time and fuel. Amtrak links the two cities, as well, but the ride can take several hours longer than the six-hour drive by car. The Obama administration did want to finance a high-speed link, but Wisconsin’s governor blocked it.
And to straighten out the tracks and put in the infrastructure to turn the route linking DC to New York and Boston would cost in the billions, even though that would be the most-traveled leg. And might even turn a profit eventually.
Zoellner says someday our high-speed trains will come, but it could take 15 or more years. It’s just a question of political will and money.
The book is called Train: Riding the Rails that Created the Modern World. More info at here at Tom’s website.