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: High Speed Rail: Shouldn't we be more agressive?  ( 9951 )
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« : October 01, 2009, 12:56:36 PM »

According to a recent article in the China Daily, China is “poised to become the world’s High Speed Rail leader.” They are set to build 42 new high speed lines spanning a total of 13,000 km over the next three years. And while our current administration is contemplating how to spend $13B in high speed rail, China is investing $300B in their high speed rail initiative by the year 2020. If a country as smart and as talented as China is blazing this trail, shouldn’t we be more aggressively following their lead?
« : October 15, 2009, 01:12:04 PM admin »
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« #1 : October 15, 2009, 01:39:15 PM »

My feeling on the high-speed rail is that I believe that the term itself is a misnomer at best, and possibly an oxymoron. TGV in France and the Bullet Train in Japan are equivalent to our NASA's moon program -- hugely successful, expensive and extremely impractical since they affect very few riders. In this day and age of flying, why bother with a land-moving train that is still untested and possibly riskier than flying.
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« #2 : February 10, 2010, 03:22:47 AM »

The issue is that the opponents of high speed rail consistently argue that rail is a “19th century” mode of transportation. The often indicate that rail would be under-used and therefore would need massive subsidies to function; infrastructure in the cities connected by high speed rail is not sufficient to make this form of transportation efficient or cost-effective; even if rail is eventually necessary, right now it is impractical due to the ready supply of cheap oil.  Others point to the fact that the contracts for these rail systems will largely go to foreign companies, thus raising questions about their simulative effects here at home.
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