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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

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It would also be nice to see some of that rail service proceeding due West out of Chicago to the Quad Cities and then on to Des Moines and perhaps Omaha.

Great write up! This perspective when paired with the megaregions thought, often written about on the urbanophile's blog, make a great argument for HSR.

As you know, I prefer real high speed rail. I think the 110MPH approach started out as a choice people took to build support for the program. The cost - even lowballed at $1M/mile - seemed much more reasonable, etc. That's the maximum speed you can operate on regular tracks under FRA rules, pretty much. I can't say that I blame the people who developed that approach over a decade ago. Anything more would have seemed pie in the sky and failed to build support. But today I think we've got more examples of the clear benefits from around the world. I think it is time to checkpoint and figure out how to deliver a true high speed rail system with significant potential benefits.

BTW: My preferred term for 110MPH rail is "Amtrak on Steroids"

Bring on the 220mph trains, the sooner, the better. I think Chicago-Minneapolis via Milwaukee is more important than Chicago-St.Louis, and by a wide margin.

I agree completely with the idea of new tracks and truly high-speed rail. Nothing else will be the game-changer we really need. Might China help us develop our system, and perhaps even help fund it? I believe French technology is considered state-of-the-art, and is what is being used in new high-speed rail lines in China.

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