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admin 10.07.2014

Today was the official announcement from the White House of a new national high speed passenger rail network.
Trains allow passengers to move serious amounts of baggage without excess fees, an area where airlines are currently gouging the heck out of customers.
However, having a central hub, ie Kansas City, as mentioned, seems like a better goal, especially if the hub was a manufacturing center with plenty of convention services, a meeting place no further than a 12 hour ride from just about anywhere in the US. But, I think in the grand scheme of a national rail network, there should definitely be some thought given to connecting the West to the Chicago Hub. Hauling freight via high speed rail might pay for the costs but you would have to overcome the protest by the truckers.
The gap between Las Vegas and parts east is not a financially viable option for passengers.
Authorities are investigating what caused the 16 CSX train cars to derail and pile up in northwest D.C. A network of 10 regional corridors, including the California Corridor connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco, Sacramento and San Diego.

As the current plans stand, the California Corridor stands alone, isolated from the rest of the nation. With construction of the planned Chicago Hub Network and the Northeast’s Keystone Corridor, we’re already halfway there. If you extrapolate that the increase in time and cost would be proportional to the increased distance, an LA to NY trip would probably be over $500 (for a one-way trip) and take 24 hours. Making an LA to NY high speed rail a goal is highly impractical for both time and cost reasons. Costs would still have to undercut the airlines by a decent percentage, which will be the main factor in whether this becomes a success or failure.
A high speed corridor is populated enough on the east coast but parts west of the Mississippi need to carry freight to make it cost effective. The first logical step would be a connection with the Pacific Northwest Corridor, with its currently planned terminus in Eugene, OR.
Which project would generate a national sense of pride, not to mention unprecedented job creation and economic – dare I say it – stimulus?

We need to start thinking about how we can connect the California Corridor to the Hub, which is currently terminating in Kansas City. A network that will probably be completed before the Metro Purple Line even reaches Westwood.
And unless the cost is 50% or 25% of airline fares, there’s no way I can picture most people sacrificing 24 hours of their life for the trip, except for the occasional novelty. The train only really makes sense over shorter distances (a 90-minute $30 trip to Vegas would be useful).

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