The eventual goal of a national high-speed rail network is still moving forward, according to the Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
When he was speaking before a congressional committee earlier this week, he clarified that the administration is going to continue to invest in “its signature transportation project. We’re not giving up on high-speed rail,” said LaHood. “The president will include funding in his budget. I think we’ll get there with public money, but in the absence of that we’ll get there with private money.”
So far, there have been more than 150 new proposals received and funded to various degrees. The new projects have been concentrated along the East and West Coast and in parts of the Midwest.
There are some members of Congress that think that the administration needs to start increasing the speed of implementation.
“I’m not convinced that we know how to do it because we haven’t done it,” Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) said. “There will be huge criticism of the administration for having nothing to show for its efforts in five years.”
“We need to get started,” Rep. Donna Edwards (Md.) said. “I know when the interstates were being built there were areas that didn’t want them. Who doesn’t want a highway now?”
Several other countries around the world have high-speed rail networks and trains that are blisteringly fast compared to US trains. For many in the US, rail may be an invisible option for long-distance travel, but it is the top, most modern option in several other developed and even developing countries.
For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts; for all is vanity. - Ecclesiastes 3:19