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Old Posted Mar 13, 2010, 7:32 AM
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electricron electricron is offline
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Location: Granbury, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
Slug on the Tracks
By CHRISTIAN WOLMAR
President Obama has repeatedly insisted that there is no reason why Europe or China, rather than the United States, should have the world’s fastest trains, and since coming to office he has committed the country to developing a high-speed rail network of its own.

Yet the $8 billion set aside for high-speed rail in his 2009 stimulus package, split among 31 states, includes only two genuine high-speed rail projects — in Florida and California. And even that money will do little more than kick-start the schemes. The rest of the package will go to upgrading various sections of the Amtrak network.

High-speed rail lines are expensive and can take years, even decades, to complete, particularly in a country as large as the United States. As a consequence, the president needs a quick success to show America what a genuine high-speed railway can offer. Fortunately, he has a great test case right on his doorstep: the Acela services along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, which the stimulus package essentially ignored.
I believe the key word missing from this NYTimes editorial was "Stimulus". The author completely ignored that concept when discussing Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, which had no "Ready To Go" projects planned. Amtrak is used to being squeezed financially and had no projects planned with environmental reviews completed. Never-the-less, several Northeast Corridor projects are being built with Amtrak's increased funding last year.

I'm not arguing that the Northeast Corridor doesn't need improvements, golly any rail corridor that's been around since the 1920s and 1930s is going to need some work. But the $8 Billion was Stimulus funds, and completed environmental studies was required to win any Stimulus funds.
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