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Sunday, July 12, 2009

US High Speed Rail Association to Advocate for High-Speed Rail Network Across the USA

As you know, President Barack Obama strongly supports high-speed rail and the Federal Railroad Administration is now reaching out to other countries that have had success with it. It's about time the United States got with the program and make high speed rail a reality. The questions on the table are what kind of system will be built, how extensive will it be, how fast and how integrated will it be? Enter the US High Speed Rail Association, which tags itself as the only organization in America focusing entirely on advancing a state-of-the-art national high speed rail network across the country. The nonprofit trade association, based in Washington D.C., "is chartered to organize and mobilize the industry with a shared vision for a 21st century, 17,000 mile national high speed rail system built in phases for completion by 2030."
The Association’s advancement of this national transportation plan will help develop an entirely new industry, which will revive our economy and manufacturing sector by creating millions of new jobs. This new, electric rail system will greatly reduce our dependence on oil and significantly lower our carbon footprint. Source: USHSR
The organization unveiled a map showing what a complete national system, built in 4 phases and completed by 2030 (for the animated version, click here). The map bears a resemblance to the "Vision for High-Speed Rail in America" unveiled by the Obama Administration in April. Both are based on the same 10 regional corridors, but the Association's plan seriously raises the bar. It calls for 17,000 miles of track, multi-modal stations and travel speeds of 220mph, the proposal bears a greater resemblance to rail maps in Europe.

The USHSR plans to generate support for the plan and help advance the industry by organizing a series of public events and conferences, with the first scheduled for October 22-23 in Washington DC. The group also formed a partnership with the International Union of Railways in Paris, and plans on hosting tours of European and Asian high-speed rail systems.

President Obama's plan to drastically improve the current railroad system as we know it, is poised to effectively modernize the system and the very concept of traveling by rail. The $8 billion investment is the biggest of its kind in American history and the president hopes to build upon the model currently in place by installing railroads to link cities in other parts of the nation, an effort he believes could help revitalize the Midwest. A faster rail service could relieve traffic congestion, conserve energy, prevent pollution, and offer greater accessibility for intercity travel.
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