Tuesday, September 1, 2009

With Detroit's Demise...

As the "Big 3" have become the bankrupt 2 + Ford, and fuel prices will continue to rise as peak oil approaches in the next generation, it's about damn time that the expansive US gets on the High Speed Rail track, like The Rest Of The World has. All the naysayers of rail saying it is not profitable, need to come to Phoenix and ride the new light rail when gas was $4 a gallon, or spend some time in the NE corridor where rail ridership is huge, or take the South Shore into Chicago everyday, from East Chicago, as my father did for 20 years, along with thousands of other commuters. Well organized and modern rail works very well (France, Germany, Japan, and some parts of the UK). Even not well organized rail still serves massive public needs (India, China, Italy, many Eastern Europe nations, Russia... and some parts of the UK).

Short sighted, pessimistic, anachronistic Americans who cling to their precious paradigms from the 50s and 60s need to evolve and work towards accepting the future. Notice how the map above has no high speed rail connecting LA to Vegas? So sorry, delusional tea baggers, find a wind-mill elsewhere to joust with. I've driven 2/3rds of the proposed routes via Federal Highway. Had an efficient rail line been available, I would have preferred to sit and read, or surf, or sleep instead of burn fossil fuels in my individual internal combustion engine.

Il faut voir... we'll see, if it ever comes into being.


  1. Unfortunately, the US definition of "high speed" rail -- over 100 mph -- is not what anyone in Europe or Japan would call "high speed". This won't succeed unless city-city travel times are competitive with air travel. Which is perfectly feasible using existing technology for anything under 1000 miles or so.

  2. Agreed, and, America, being so damn litigious, the rights of way will be incredibly expensive and delayed... but inertia usually takes a long time (by definition) unless extraordinary energy is expended to over-come it. Maybe by the time my grand children at in their 20s, I can ride a train to go visit them that will get me across the US in less than 1 day - il faut voir.

  3. ...and when we do get a high-speed rail network in place people will start complaining about making the trains run on time :)

  4. Trains like the Germans, Food like the French, Sex like the Italians, Police like the British, Chocolate like the Belgians, Electronics like the Japanese, Air travel like the Singaporeans, Vacations like the Australians... one can dream.

  5. OR... Healthcare like the French, Motorcycles like the Italians, Beer like the UK, cheap electronic memory like the Koreans, fresh fruit like Central America... etc etc etc.


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