Reply to post: Re: Will not gain acceptance

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Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Will not gain acceptance

I still wonder why the US is still more or less the only country without fast trains in the world and still the perfect country to use them.

History. At the end of WW2 there was a surplus of concrete runways, transport aircraft, pilots. Railways at that time were slow and uncomfortable. Air travel wasn't encumbered by security theatre, aircraft and runway utilisation wasn't high enough to cause the interminable delays of today (though I'm sure individual aircraft reliability was far, far worse). Put simply, for the longer distances in the US, flying in the 1950s and 60s was much faster and more comfortable. Add in a lot of lower value land than in Europe, and building wide highways wasn't such a problem either.

Given the financial distress of the railroads, why would anybody have invested in US rail between 1945 and 2000? With the congestion at airports and the sheer unpleasantness of flying these days, its easy to say that high speed rail would be a better experience, but if there were money to be made then you can be sure that somebody would be throwing bribes at Congress, and if there isn't why should federal or state governments subsidise a loss making new rail link?

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