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Q&A: Mad Men's Vincent Kartheiser on High-Speed Rail

Vincent Kartheiser is finally buying a car—but he'd rather not have to. We talk with the Mad Men star about the merits of mass transit.


When I called Vincent Kartheiser on Wednesday to talk about mass transit and high-speed rail, he had literally just been in a fender bender. The irony was not lost on Kartheiser, who reprised his role as the smarmy ad guy Pete Campbell from Mad Men for a clever Funny or Die video this week to support U.S. PIRG's high-speed rail campaign.

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Railroad Revival Tour: Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, and Old Crow Medicine Show Embark on Epic Train Tour of American Southwest

Call it the modern day Festival Express. Three scratchy alt-rock bands embark on a rolling hootenanny of a concert tour. All for trains.


Call it the modern day Festival Express. For one week in April, Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, and Old Crow Medicine Show will take to the rails for a six-stop rolling hootenanny of a tour. Behold, the Railroad Revival Tour:

This April, Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow Medicine Show will embark on a tour unlike any in recent memory. Traveling exclusively in vintage rail cars, the three bands will journey across the American Southwest over the course of a week. The aptly titled Railroad Revival Tour will feature the three bands playing concerts at six unique outdoor locations along the route, beginning April 21st in Oakland, California.

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"Amtrak Joe" Biden Reveals High-Speed Rail Plans

It's a $53 billion investment over the next six years. The ultimate goal: Giving 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail within 25 years.


Yesterday, "Amtrak Joe" Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood took to Philadelphia's historic 30th Street Station to reveal the administration's new, refined plans for America's high-speed rail. In short, President Obama is calling for a $53 billion investment over the next six years—including $8 billion next year—with the ultimate goal of giving 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail within 25 years. (This comes on top of the $10.5 billion already devoted to HSR—$8 billion of Recovery Act funds and $2.5 billion from the 2010 budget.)

We've long pined for the rapid build-out of a HSR network, and this announcement is a good sign that the administration isn't backing off some bold earlier claims. Even more encouraging is this language from the White House press release that followed Biden's announcement (emphasis mine):

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