Part of the Obama stimulus package involves several billions of dollars dedicated to HSR, otherwise known as High Speed Rail, which travels more than 110 mph.
While that would be a wonderful improvement, the rest of the world may soon be advancing even beyond their rail wheel HSR reality. There's something new in the works.
It's called MagLev...meaning Magnetic Levitation...and prototypes have already been built in Europe and Japan. It's a train that floats on a magnetic field, and can go nearly as fast as a jet airplane.
Why not look into MagLev as a viable HSR option? It's at least THREE TIMES as fast as current HSR operating in Japan and Europe, and would help unclog our highways and airports.
Plus, there's no moving parts on the train...IT DOESN'T EVEN HAVE AN ENGINE. The propulsion system is all in the track and its electronics. The magnetic field in the track essentially "pulls" the train along the track.
That being said, it's more energy efficient, with zero emissions. It has less impact on the landscape, and can work with current transportation corridors, such as our freeway system, to get through the more remote mountain passes, etc...not to mention the opportunity we have that our Japanese and European bretheren don't.
We can start fresh and build it from the ground up, and it will give us a viable transportation option for generations to come...AND, in terms of the trains themselves, the maintenance costs are totally at a minimum, as there are no moving parts...and isn't that something all Americans love? MINIMUM MAINTENANCE COSTS? Helloooooo, politicians!!!
So, IMO the ends justify the means.
If we're REALLY going to go green, why not bypass the rail wheel phase and simply jump into the wave of the future? Then we could really lead the pack and set a new standard.
Here's a video that explains what the MagLev train is all about.