Public radio’s Here and Now did an interesting piece on high speed rail expansion in China, including a video I think I had seen before showing how some Chinese trains don’t even have to stop at stations to let passengers off. It’s pretty cool.
Suffice it to say, the Obama administration’s investment in high speed rail service for the U.S. is very helpful from a job creation, sustainability, and transportation efficiency standpoint. In theory, high speed rail can actually be competitive with the airlines on certain journeys. For instance, consider a trip from Austin to Dallas, a roughly 200 mile journey on major roads. Some of China’s high speed rail lines are believed to exceed 200 miles per hour in speed, so that journey could take as little as one hour, the same amount of time a flight would take, and flights would require early arrival and a journey from the airport to the destination. High speed rail is rightly being explored for both interstae and intrastate travel, and it’s within the intrastate itineraries that I think it can have the greatest impact (California and Florida are particularly active in exploring this). #snappatx