Is 'Higher-Speed Rail' Coming to a City Near You?

A recently released Amtrak plan doesn't envision high-speed rail servicing the Northeast Corridor until 2040. Paul Nussbaum looks at whether an incremental approach might bring increased speed and amenities to passengers sooner.
July 23, 2012, 10am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments
If you don't live in California's Central Valley, that probably means true high-speed rail isn't in your city's immediate future. But, according the "international manufacturers who are touting the prospects of smooth, quiet, luxurious rides for American passengers", that doesn't mean you can't have a European- or Japanese-style high-speed rail "experience" at speeds well below 220-m.p.h., writes Nussbaum.

"'Higher-speed' trains with many of the same aerodynamic features and interior amenities of France's TGV or Japan's Shinkansen may be the American stepping-stone to true high-speed rail, as the United States looks for affordable improvements to its old-fashioned, slow passenger rail network."

And apparently, these manufacturers are bullish on the prospects for America adopting an incremental approach: "Foreign-based high-speed train-builders, such as Alstom (France), Siemens (Germany), and Talgo (Spain), have opened American factories to make modern trains that can run on conventional tracks in the United States, with hopes of eventually winning high-speed contracts, as well." 

Full Story:
Published on Saturday, July 14, 2012 in The Philadelphia Inquirer
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email