Thursday, January 28, 2010

Obama Administration needs to put HSR on the fast track (pun intended)

Today, at a stop in Tampa with the Veep (and experienced rail rider) Joe Biden, President Barack Obama spoke to the opening of construction of a high speed rail (HSR) line between Tampa and Orlando, Florida.

The project is being funded by stimulus dollars and will be the beginning, hopefully, of America's successful launch into the world of HSR.

It's a project that has been welcomed and highly anticipated.  The United States has fallen behind Europe and Asia in this area of advanced transportation systems.  We currently still rely on the use of the old cargo-accommodating rail lines and infrastructure for our passenger trains.  Because of the worn mess of infrastructure and current system we have in place, train riding is usually seen as a secondary and often the least desirable option.  It's slow, clunky, and ridden with delays.

This would all end with HSR.  A new infrastructure would be built to specifically accommodate this new passenger service.  Other corridors besides the one in Florida spoken about today have been identified...corridors between Seattle and Portland...Los Angeles and San Francisco...Chicago and Milwaukee...and on the east coast.  The site Planetizen provides more information on this.

Let's hope that we see the ball rolling fast on these systems so the public can get a taste, and experience the benefits, of a modern and efficient system.

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