US High Speed Rail on Track

The Americans are renowned for the way in which they come together and push to fulfill a goal, especially when that goal ensures the success of the nation in the years to come. We've seen it in the past, when it came to building Eisenhower's Interstate Highway System, and it's likely we'll see it in the future as well, if the Obama administration has it its way.

The plan is as simple as it is gargantuan: connect about 80 percent of the US population through a high-speed rail system within the next generation. For the task, the administration already promised it would spend $53 billion over the next six years.

“The proposal will place high-speed rail on equal footing with other surface transportation programs and revitalize America's domestic rail manufacturing industry by dedicating $53 billion over six years to continue construction of a national high-speed and intercity passenger rail network,” said Vice President Joe Biden when announcing the plan.

“As a part of President Obama's commitment to winning the future by rebuilding America's roadways, railways and runways, the plan will lay a new foundation for the nation's economic opportunity, job creation, and competitiveness.”

Previewed by the California High Speed Rail system meant to link San Francisco to Los Angeles, whose main elements were sketched last year, the national rail network will comprise three major elements: Core Express (trains traveling at 125-250 mph on dedicated tracks), Regional (train speeds of 90-125 mph) and Emerging (up to 90 mph).

The plan, ambitious as it is, is facing quite an opposition from several interested parties, including the Republican governors in Wisconsin and Ohio, who refused the funding for the project.

This won't stop the plan in its tracks though, and will be implemented in stages, first in the willing states and later, as a natural evolution, in the ones that still oppose the rail system, believes Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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