Real high speed rail

China is lapping the U.S. when it comes to high-speed, inter-city rail, and while the costs are significant (both financial and otherwise), the payoffs are huge–not just jobs for people constructing the lines but for the stimulation of greater tourism.  I like this metaphor the reporter used to explain what the breadth and speed of China’s system would mean in the U.S.:

For Americans, a comparable trip would involve a Boston resident who catches a train to Philadelphia, has lunch near the Liberty Bell, goes to dinner in colonial Williamsburg, Va., and returns home by bedtime.

Think of the opportunities communities would have if they were easier to reach via train.  It’s unrealistic to expect airports and air travel will ever have the reach and price point to allow most Americans to see most of America; it will, for the near future, be a privileged form of travel for the affluent.  I use bus travel, but it obviously won’t be able to reach the speed rail could on a dedicated track.  And single-occupancy vehicles are in the same boat.

So, if high speed rail connected communities big and small, more people could and would visit those communities, stimulating their economies and the overall national economy by allowing people to become more productive, covering more ground more quickly.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s