A Speculative Map Makes the Case for America's Dream Rail System

Despite the best efforts of President Obama, the dream of a countrywide high-speed rail network is still just that. Can a speculative, and tantalizing, map change the debate on high-speed rail in the United States?

February 10, 2013, 11:00 AM PST

By Jonathan Nettler @nettsj


Us High Speed Rail System

Alfred Twu / FirstCultural

Alfred Twu describes his motivation for creating the compelling US High Speed Rail Map, which depicts the nodes and travel times for a countrywide high-speed rail network based on several proposed maps from 2009, "when government agencies and advocacy groups were talking big about rebuilding America's train system."

"Having worked on getting California's high speed rail approved in the 2008 elections, I've long sung the economic and environmental benefits of fast trains," explains Twu. "This latest map comes more from the heart. It speaks more to bridging regional and urban-rural divides than about reducing airport congestion or even creating jobs, although it would likely do that as well."

"More than mere steel wheels on tracks, high speed rail shrinks space and brings farflung families back together. It keeps couples in touch when distant career or educational opportunities beckon. It calls to adventure and travel. It is duct tape and string to reconnect politically divided regions. Its colorful threads weave new American Dreams."

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