high speed rail

Tampa to Orlando High Speed Rail: The Risk to Local Taxpayers

No sooner had Florida Gov. Rick Scott rejected federal funding for the Tampa to Orlando high-speed rail line, than proponents both in Washington and Tallahassee set about to find ways to circumvent his decision. While an approach has not been finalized, a frequently suggested alternative is to grant the federal money to a local government, such as a city or county or even to a transit agency.  read more »

"Patchwork" High Speed Rail System Unraveling?

The widely dispersed opposition to proposals for high speed rail (genuine and faux) led Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to say that the Administration would press forward in a patchwork fashion if necessary.  read more »

A $53 Billion High-Speed Rail Program to Nowhere

Vice President Joe Biden announced today a plan to spend $53 billion over the next six years on passenger high-speed rail projects that will help reach the goal of giving 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail within 25 years.  read more »

California High Speed Rail Costs Escalate 50 Percent in 2 Years

The highly respected Californians for Responsible Rail Design (CARRD) has released a new cost estimate for the phase 1 Los Angeles to San Francisco high-speed rail line. Based upon an analysis of California high-speed rail Authority documentation, including stimulus grant applications and other internal sources, CARRD estimates that the line will now cost $65 billion, rather than the current estimate of $43 billion.

The CARRD release indicated:  read more »

The President's Unserious Proposal

"Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail." With this ringing statement in his State of the Union address, President Obama injected new hope into the flagging spirits of high speed rail advocates. Predictably, spokesmen for industry associations, progressive advocacy groups and other stakeholder interests praised the President’s goal as a symbol of his renewed commitment to support investment in infrastructure. But hardly any one we spoke to at the TRB meeting took the President’s ambitious goal seriously.  read more »

Double Digit Ridership Increase Leaves London-Paris-Brussels High Speed Rail Behind Projections

The Eurostar, the high speed rail service that links London with Paris and Brussels remains more than 60 percent below its ridership projections as of 2010, according to recently released ridership information. This is despite a double digit (12 percent increase in ridership between 2009 and 2010.  read more »

A Train to Nowhere: Not A Train Through Nowhere

In expressing its opposition to the California High Speed Rail line, Washington Post editorialists noted that critics of the now approved Borden to Corcoran segment have called the line a "train to nowhere" ("Hitting the breaks on California's high speed rail experiment"). The Post call this:  read more »

Skepticism About High-Speed Rail Is Growing

"Spend first, answer questions later." So concludes a critical editorial in the January 12 edition of the Washington Post, commenting on California's proposed $43 billion High-Speed Rail program. The Post editorial, along with a January 11 article in the New York Times (both of which we reprint below), are emblematic of the increasingly skeptical press and public opinion concerning the fiscal and economic soudness of the Obama Administration's high-speed rail initiative.  read more »

Trying to Keep Hope Alive: High-Speed Rail in Illinois

Despite the rejection of high-speed rail in many states, Illinois is trying to revive it. The Illinois Department of Transportation recently made a cooperative agreement with Union Pacific and Amtrak to fund passenger rail improvements for its line from Chicago to St. Louis with a $1.1 billion federal high-speed rail grant.  read more »

A Billion Dollar Federal Grant to Reduce Travel Time by 48 Minutes

The Illinois Department of Transportation has reached a cooperative agreement with Union Pacific and Amtrak that will permit the release of a $1.1 billion federal high-speed rail grant to the state of Illinois to fund passenger rail improvements between Chicago and St. Louis. The agreement was proclaimed by state and federal officials as "historic" and hailed as "one giant step closer to achieving high-speed passenger service between Chicago and St.  read more »