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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Full Speed Ahead on High-Speed US Rail

Well, it's not quite yet up to speed, and if implemented will take at least 15-20 years to get going, but I was delighted to hear VP Joe Biden commit to development of high-speed rail across the US, in a speech in Philadelphia's 30th-Street Station, which is one of my favorite rail stations.

Among the advantages of high-speed rail across the US, to complement and as alternative to cars on the Interstate Highway System and planes in the sky, are

  • rails bring you right to the center of most big cities, which cuts down of the wear and tear of getting to and from airports
  • railways travel through all kinds of interesting countryside, some beautiful, and you can see it all out the window
  • rail is just more comfortable than air travel - more room, you can easily stretch your legs, and there's just none of the anxiety of being in a plane in the sky
  • the $53 billion plan announced by Biden will put lots of Americans to work, in reliable, long-lasting jobs
 Don't get me wrong.  I love jumping in my car and driving anywhere I please, any time I want.  I think flying from New York to London is a miracle.   But when it comes to distances too far to drive in a few hours, but not far enough to need to fly, there's just nothing like a train.   A high-speed rail system in the United States will improve the well-being of anyone other than a hermit.
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