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Published on February 19th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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U.S. High-Speed Rail We Can Dream About

February 19th, 2013 by  


Reposted from EVObsession:

U.S. high-speed rail (HSR) is a dream of many, including President Obama and Vice President Biden. The Obama administration and Congress dedicated a good bit of funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 for high-speed rail in locations across the U.S. This excited a good number of people, but there’s no denying that the funding was probably a few decades late and far too little to get U.S. transportation systems to where they need to be. Could Obama have gotten Congress to put more into HSR? Who knows. But at least he got what he did.

Billions of dollars are now being used or will be used to help upgrade and expand rail lines in the U.S. The overall, generalized vision, as presented by the Obama administration, is this:

vision-for-high-speed-rail-united-states-of-america

Better than what we have, that’s for sure. But high-speed rail advocate and map creator Alfred Twu recently decided to create a U.S. high-speed rail dream map that paints an even much more ambitious picture. Here’s that map:

US-High-Speed-Rail-System-by-FirstCultural-2013-02-03

Writing in the Guardian, Twu comments:

I created this U.S. High Speed Rail Map as a composite of several proposed maps from 2009, when government agencies and advocacy groups were talking big about rebuilding America’s train system.

Having worked on getting California’s high speed rail approved in the 2008 elections, I’ve long sung the economic and environmental benefits of fast trains.

This latest map comes more from the heart. It speaks more to bridging regional and urban-rural divides than about reducing airport congestion or even creating jobs, although it would likely do that as well.

Instead of detailing construction phases and service speeds, I took a little artistic license and chose colors and linked lines to celebrate America’s many distinct but interwoven regional cultures.

For more reflections from Twu, his recounting of some of the many reactions to the map that he has read, and some high-speed rail mythbusting, check out the Guardian piece: A U.S. high speed rail network shouldn’t just be a dream
 

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort on Tesla or any other company.



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