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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

High(way) Speed Rail

Beyond DC has a great post about the Department of Transportation soliciting proposals for high speed rail corridors. This is a great development, one step closer to catching up to the rest of the civilized world with a real train network.

As these corridors are planned, I really hope there is a serious effort to build the HSR lines along interstate highways. This minimizes the need for right-of-way acquisition, and it makes our interstate corridors multi-modal. I imagine in some areas it may drive up the cost of construction, but as long as we have these corridors already built and engineered for high speeds, I believe it makes the most sense to put the trains there too.

In any event, I'm very excited about the prospect of being able to hop a train to Chicago and get there in less than 20 hours. With any luck, I'll be able to do that before I retire.


Cavan said...

I do hope that the interstate trains won't be along freeways. That will make them look like second class citizens. However, I understand that cost can be a factor.

Douglas A. Willinger said...

How if the trains are faster?

Dave Murphy said...

Much of the track-miles of a true interstate train system would be connecting cities across large swaths of rural country. running trains along freeways in "flyover country" will probably make those on the freeways look more like second class citizens in my opinion.

Obviously, they wouldn't share lanes. If it were up to me, I'd put them in medians or along the side... or even replace the freeway with the HSR in a few locations. I'm not advocating for this to be done with urban freeways, though.