Why the US Has no High Speed Rail

May 10, 2019

Money.

Well, greed, and money.

14 Responses to “Why the US Has no High Speed Rail”

  1. rsmurf Says:

    We have no high speed rail because cars make more profit for the rich.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      It’s empowering (if wasteful) to have your own car. You set your own schedule and can travel just about anywhere.

      That said, I definitely enjoyed using commuter rail when working in the Boston Metro area and living in the suburbs. You could get a lot of work or reading done.

  2. jimbills Says:

    I’d be on the side of ‘unlikely to change anytime soon’. It is about money in politics, lobbyists writing policy for Congress, NIMBYism, a fickle public over public financing, and so on. It would be so great to see rail with dedicated lines here, though, let alone high speed. I’ve been on Amtrak many times – generally enjoy it and prefer it over flight – excepting the extra time involved, which is exacerbated because there are so many delays from using the same rails as freight shipping.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      The eminently sensible plans in the 1990s to have a high speed rail triangle connecting the Texas cities of Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston was, AIUI, shot down by airline lobbyists, led by Texas-based Southwest Airlines.

  3. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Well, China has the fiat power to mow down any village or natural feature in the way. That reduces costs and complexities that the US cannot avoid.

    Meanwhile, protestors are fighting Theresa May’s HS2 (High Speed Rail 2) line that would link London with northern England.

  4. Terry Donte Says:

    Europe charges $10 a gal for gas, the peons, which is most of the people have very small cars or no cars so they use public transport a lot. Except in Germany, most of the EU has terrible roads in comparison to the USA freeways.

    California Governor Moonbeam was all for hi speed rail. So he wound up trying to build hi sped rail from nowhere to nowhere as all the leftish wheres did not want a noisy, fast train in front of their house. 100 billion plus which is roughly $2500 for every man , women and child in the state to build a line from nowhere to nowhere plus operating costs which would be at least $100 a ticket. That is not a recipe for sanity. If you want to go from say SF to LA you can drive or fly for a lot less money.

    Europe built all those trains as did Japan under entirely different tax, populations and incomes for their citizens than the USA. They also live in tiny countries in comparison to the USA so the rail lines did not have to go very far. Example, Texas is the same size as France but has 42 million less people. You have roughly the same thing with Germany and California. You may notice zero hi speed rails go from say England to Poland in the EU as every hi speed line is very short and confined to the country which paid for it.

  5. Sir Charles Says:

    Why the US Has no High Speed Rail? Because they’re not able.


    • For AGW only total emissions count.

      • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

        For AGW only total emissions count.

        ???
        For total change to atmosphere, cumulative emissions count.
        For ongoing worsening of atmosphere, current emissions count.
        For targeting considerations, per capita emissions (including import footprints) count.

        For reducing GHG emissions, cost-effectiveness means going after the policies and technologies which reduce it the most for the least cost or effort. The cost and effort to mandate a transition away from incandescent bulbs, for example, is low-hanging fruit (for one thing, even deniers and the apathetic would start to use less energy without thinking about it). Chinese fiats that have to be followed are easier to implement than US/state policies (and we have to work harder to change the mindsets of US consumers).

        My focus has been shifting to reducing the waste of time and money on insufficient mitigation projects. People agree with the concept of triage until they’re put into that no-treatment-attempted third category.

  6. redskylite Says:

    Well there’s always vacationing in Japan to appreciate speed on rails.

    Japanese railway company starts testing 249mph bullet train speeds

    Alfa-X slated for service in 2030, leaving room for another high-speed rail to catch up.

    This week, Japanese railway company JR East showed off its new Alfa-X, a high-speed bullet train that is designed to achieve a top speed of 400kph, or 249mph, which would make it the fastest commercial train in the world. In day-to-day operations, the train would shuttle passengers at 360kph, or roughly 224mph.

    Additionally, many startups are working on bringing a so-called Hyperloop to market. Hyperloop pods would run in a low-pressure tube on magnetic levitation rails (or alternatively, air-bearings), allowing them to reach theoretical speeds greater than 600mph.

    https://arstechnica.com/cars/2019/05/japanese-railway-company-starts-testing-249mph-bullet-train-speeds/

  7. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Well there’s always vacationing in Japan to appreciate speed on rails.

    Are you suggesting I fly to Japan? :/


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