The high-speed rail chimera

It’s a busy month for proponents of high-speed rail in the US: John Kerry and Arlen Specter introduced a $15 billion bill in the Senate; California voters approved Prop. 1A and $10 billion in bonds for high-speed rail; and there are plans afoot to build a high-speed connection between LA and Las Vegas. Someone even put together a map of high-speed rail travel times between the country’s major cities. I’m as big of a train fan as anyone (The Grey Fox still gets me every time), but for a dose of reality, I recommend taking a listen to this interview with Lancaster University Professor of Engineering Roger Kemp on WBEZ’s Worldview in May: “when it comes to reducing green house gases, high-speed rail isn’t always the answer.”

Monorail, anyone?


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