Passenger, High Speed Rail in Midwest

All the ways we move people and things: trains, planes, automobiles, biking, walking, etc.
First unread post803 posts
Thanks to The Mayor, here is the outline of the article:

My understanding is that the basic problem is the following:
1) High speed rail European and Asian style requires a specific type of tracks
2) Acquiring the land to build those tracks plus environment permits is a very expensive and lengthy process

“Land acquisition alone [would] take half a decade,” says the Illinois Secretary of Transportation in the article.
None of this is particularly a mystery. It's not a "special sort of rail" so much as it is conventional rail built to particular standards: alignments with broader and super-elevated curves, more generous clearances, grade separated rights-of-way, lines separate and apart from freight lines and having high speed turnouts and crossovers and so forth, lines with heavier rail and roadbed to sustain the greater forces produced by trains traveling at higher speeds, and so on and so forth. The NE corridor already had much of this from the days of private rail service, since the Pennsylvania railroad had built a high speed electrified dedicated passenger line between DC and New York on their own nickel. Amtrak essentially inherited this line in the Penn-Central bankruptcy and they've been able to improve on it without too many obstacles. But everywhere else they were beholden to the otherwise solvent freight railroads to sign on to the project. They eventually all did so, but only with strings. They're not, after all, looking for competition. And gargantuan infrastructure projects like new railroad line four hundred miles long (just for a start) require substantial public support; support Amtrak has been largely unable to secure for a complex web of reasons starting with their own enabling legislation and radiating out from there through a web of interests that touches on the Highway gang, the airlines, and a host of interests that make money off the status quo. You want high speed railroads? vote for politicians that will support them. Hell, knock doors and phone bank for them. Until then . . . STFU, frankly. They're a societal-level project. That's what it will take. At a bare minimum. If that's a price you find too high to pay that's fine. But that's the game. There's only one way to play. If you don't want to ante up . . .
symphonicpoet wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:22 am
. You want high speed railroads? vote for politicians that will support them.
Agree 100%. Afterall, we are talking about a country that undertakes defense and space projects that are completely out of reach for any country on Earth both scientifically and economically (except perhaps China) not being able to undertake an infrastructure project that any small European country can. It's all about political priorities.