Jeramey Jannene

Barack Obama on High Speed Rail

By - Aug 11th, 2008 01:08 pm
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Barack Obama seems to have his head in the right place when thinking about the need for mobility in a regional sense. He doesn’t advocate New York to Chicago high speed rail or other long routes, something that a plane does and will probably always do better. He doesn’t talk about cost inefficient monorail technology or other fancy, whiz-bang technologies.

Obama recognizes that high speed rail is the perfect mode of transit for regional connectivity and that the Midwest is a good place for that implementation.

“If you think about the Midwest, think about right here, what we’ve got is all kind of towns that we could connect,” Obama said. “All of these cities are, they basically take in the air about 45 minutes to an hour to fly.”

“But by the time you get to the airport,” Obama continued, “take off your shoes, get to the terminal, realize that your flight’s been delayed two hours, go pay $10 for a cup of coffee, and a sandwich for another $10, come back, you get on the plane, you’re sitting on the tarmac for another 25 minutes, you finally take off, you’re circling above the city for another half hour, when you land they can’t find your luggage, and then you get to where you’re going — by the time it’s all done it’s a five-hour trip! …So the time is right now for us to start thinking about high-speed rail as an alternative to air transportation, connecting all these cities and think about what a great project that would be in terms of rebuilding America.”

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2 thoughts on “Barack Obama on High Speed Rail”

  1. Doug Glatzel says:

    While I dont support Obama, I do appreciate his views on this. His Midwest roots might be beneficial to us.

  2. John Gates says:

    I don’t agree at all with precluding New York – Chicago class High Speed Rail.
    A loaded Boeing 737 consumes more fuel hauling 100 people than a fully loaded
    TGV class train would consume hauling 2000 people that distance. The trip could in principle be
    done in 4 hours (800 mi/ 200 mph) but probably 6 hours is more realistic. The flight takes
    2 hours in air + ??? for end effects. I thing ??? is 2-3 hours, but the worst aspect
    of flight is when end effects take 6-8 hours due to weather, cancellations, mechanical trouble, you name it. The fact is the train ride is more pleasant and could connect inner-city business
    districts, and not just outlying airports (like LaGuardia where you are at the mercy of NY taxi drivers
    who blocked a mass transit connection to the NYC subway system).

    It is way past due that this country start building a high speed rail network. Barack is our best bet,
    as was Clinton before him. Unfortunately, I won’t hold my breath. If I want the pleasant experience of
    the best mode of transportation in the world I have to go to Europe or Asia where smart people live.

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