U.S. Rail Infrastructure: A Slow-Moving Train
Over at Planetizen, the self-professed rail devotee Jeffrey Barg considers the slow-moving progress of rail infrastructure in the United States. Fresh from a trip to train-friendly London—where the Secretary of State for Transport recently announced plans for HS2, the United Kingdom’s latest high-speed line—Barg offers an economic justification for high-speed rail in the United States. Looking specifically at the Northeast, a region with many logistical parallels to the United Kingdom, he weighs the benefits of building a better rail system:
When you’re building a network with the potential of transforming and uniting a region that, taken collectively, has the sixth-largest GDP in the world, the only certain thing you can say about the benefits is that they’ll be far-reaching, catalytic and virtually impossible to quantify. This could turn the Northeast megaregion into an international juggernaut, an economic and cultural competitor on the entire world’s stage.Given the inroads made possible with the $8 billion allotted for high-speed rail projects in Obama's stimulus plan, as well as the the high-speed progress of rail systems in other countries, how confident are you that the United States can play a feasible game of catch-up with the rest of the world?
Photo (cc) by Flicrk user Jon Curnow