Why The US Has No High-Speed Rail

Why The US Has No High-Speed Rail

China has the fastest and largest
high-speed rail network in the world. The country has more than 19,000
miles of high-speed rail, the vast majority of which was built
in the last decade. Japan’s bullet trains can reach speeds
of almost 200 miles per hour. And date back to the 1960s. They’ve become a staple for domestic travel
and have moved more than 9 billion people without a
single passenger casualty. France began service of the high-speed TGV
train in 1981 and the rest of Europe quickly followed. And high-speed rail is quickly expanding all
over the world in places like India, Saudi Arabia, Russia
Iran and Morocco. And then there’s the U.S. The U.S. used to be one of the world’s global
leaders in rail but after World War II there was a massive shift. If you look at the United States prior
to 1945, we had a very extensive rail system everywhere. It all was working great except a number
of companies in the auto and oil industries decided that for them to
have a prosperous future they really needed to basically help phase out all the
rail and get us all into cars. The inflexible rails permanently embedded
in cobblestones were paved over to provide smooth, comfortable transportation
via diesel motor coach. General Motors, Firestone Tire, Standard Oil
and a few other companies that got together and they were able to
buy up all the nation’s streetcar systems and then quickly start
phasing out service and literally dismantling all the systems over
about a 10-year span. In the 1950s, President Dwight Eisenhower
signed a bill to create the National Interstate System. It allocated about $25 billion dollars
to build 41,000 miles of highways. The federal government paid for 90% of
that, the states covered the final 10 and rail fell by the wayside. Can’t you see that this highway means a
whole new way of life for the children? And a way of life that we have
a chance to help plan and, and to build. We dedicated a huge amount of
dollars to building automobile infrastructure in the middle of the 20th century and
we’re still kind of attached to that model of development. We went from a rail-served country to
a auto-dependent nation by the 1960s. We’ve become a car culture and it’s
hard to break out of that cycle. Not to mention the fact that in
our political system we have very powerful oil lobbies, car manufacturing lobbies,
aviation lobbies, all the entities that the high-speed rail would
have to compete with. This is the American dream
of freedom on wheels. We average some 850 cars per
thousand inhabitants in the U.S., in China it’s only 250. And we’ve never gone back. But according to some this
country’s transportation ecosystem is reaching a tipping point. When you look at what’s happening
with the corridor development, again states across the U.S. who are recognizing they are running out
of space to expand their highways or interstates. There are limits at airports, there
is aviation congestion, so what are the options? A better rail system is one
and could come with significant benefits. It’s largely an environmental good to
switch from air traffic and car traffic to electrified
high-speed rail. That’s a much lower
emission way of traveling. When the high-speed rail between Madrid
and Barcelona in Spain came into operation, I mean air travel just
plummeted between those cities and everyone switched over to high-speed
rail which was very convenient. People were happier. They weren’t forced to switch, they did
it because it was a nicer option to take high-speed rail. There’s a sort of a rule of thumb
for trips that are under three or four hours in trip length from city to city,
those usually end up with about 80 or 90 percent of the
travel market from aviation. Where rail exists and it’s convenient
and high-speed, it’s very popular. America I think is waking up to this
idea that rail is a good investment for transportation infrastructure. One survey showed 63% of Americans would
use high-speed rail if it was available to them. Younger people want it even more. Right now the main passenger
rail option in the U.S. is Amtrak. It’s operated as a for-profit company
but the federal government is its majority stakeholder. Train systems reaching top speeds of over
110 to 150 miles per hour are generally considered high-speed and only one
of Amtrak’s lines could be considered as such. That’s its Acela line in the
Northeast Corridor running between D.C., New York and Boston. One of the challenges we face is that
the Northeast Corridor has a lot of curvature, a lot of geometry. We really operate Acela Express on an
alignment that in some places was designed back in the nineteen hundreds and
so it really was never designed for high-speed rail. And while the Acela line can reach up
to 150 miles per hour, it only does so for 34 miles of its 457 mile span. Its average speed between New York and
Boston is about 65 miles per hour, which is in stark contrast to
China’s dedicated high-speed rail system which regularly travels at over
200 miles per hour. But some people are
trying to fix that. In 2008 California voted
yes on high-speed rail. Now, a decade later, construction is underway
in the Central Valley of the state. And right now it is the
only truly high-speed rail system under construction in the U.S. Ultimately high-speed rail is a 520
mile project that links San Francisco to Los Angeles and
Anaheim, that’s phase one. And it’s a project that’s
being built in building blocks. So the one behind me is the
largest building block that we’re starting with, this 119 mile segment. This segment will run
from Bakersfield to Merced. Eventually the plan is to build a
line from San Francisco to Anaheim, just south of L.A. But as it stands the state is almost
$50 billion short of what it needs to actually do that. The current project as planned would
cost too much and, respectfully, take too long. There’s been too little oversight
and not enough transparency. We do have the capacity to complete
a high-speed rail link between Merced and Bakersfield. After Gavin Newsom made that speech
President Trump threatened to pull federal funding for the project. We will continue to
seek other funding. We hope the federal government will
resume funding the, contributing new funds to the project. I think in the future, as
the federal government has funded major construction of infrastructure over time
they’ll again direct money to high-speed rail because in fact it’s
not just California but other states are also interested in
high-speed rail systems. To complete the entire line as planned,
the official estimate is now over $77 billion and it’s unclear where
the money will come from. So why is it so expensive? Part of the problem in California, the
big price tag is getting through the Tehachapi, very expensive tunneling, or over
the Pacheco Pass to get into San Jose from the Central Valley. You know, Eastern China, the flatlands
of Japan where they’ve built the Shinkansen, all of those are settings
where they have, didn’t incur the very high expense of boring and tunneling
that we face so the costs are different. And a lot of the money is
spent before construction can even begin. Just in this little segment here
alone we’re dealing with the private property owner, we’re dealing with a
rail company, we’re dealing with the state agency and so
just the whole coordination. Then we’re dealing with a utility
company, just in this very small section; we had to relocate two miles
of freeway and that was roughly $150 million per mile. So there’s a lot of moving pieces
to, you know, anywhere we start constructing. China is the place
that many folks compare. They have like 29,000 kilometers of high-speed
rail and 20 years ago they had none. So how have they been able
to do it so quickly? And part of it is that the state
owns the land, they don’t have private property rights like we
have in the U.S. You don’t have the regulations we have
in terms of labor laws and environmental regulations that
add to cost. It also delays the projects. For some reason and I’ve never really
quite seen an adequate explanation as to why costs to build transit or
many big infrastructure projects are just dramatically higher than in other parts
of the world, including in other advanced countries. But the bottom line is we’re really
bad at just building things cheaply and quickly in the U.S. in general. So it’s not just rail infrastructure
that is expensive, all transportation infrastructure is. Just the physical investment in the freeway usually
will be 5 to 8 to 10 million per mile but if you add
seismic issues and land acquisition and utilities and environmental mitigation and
remediation of soils and factors like that it can become as high
as 100 or 200 million a mile. The numbers for high-speed rail can vary
anywhere from 20 to 80 million per mile. The big reason why America is behind
on high-speed rail is primarily money. We don’t commit the dollars needed to
build these systems, it’s really as simple as that. And it’s largely a political issue. We don’t have political leaders who
really want to dedicate the dollars needed. There’s a lot of forces in America
that really don’t want to see rail become our major mode of transportation
especially because it will affect passenger numbers on airplanes, it’ll
affect the use of autos. So you have the politics, the
message shaping and then the straight advertising and all three of those
coordinate and work together to keep America kind of focused on cars
and not focused on rail. Some of the earliest support for
rail came from the Nixon administration. Some of the original capital subsidies
and operating subsidies for urban transit came from the Republican party, so
I think it’s only more recently that maybe this has shifted that more
liberal leaning folks who care about climate and a whole host of urban
issues have really argued for investing very heavily in rail. If you had Democratic leadership on the
Senate and a different president or potentially some leverage for a president to
sign a new budget bill with some dollars for high-speed rail,
that could override those objections from Republicans in Congress. But I think it’s mostly ideological. They’re big on highways. They’re big on things
like toll roads. They just, they don’t want the government
spending dollars on this kind of project and they see it as
something those socialist European countries do but not something that should be
done in, you know, car-loving America. In my judgment, it would take a
very strong federal commitment, almost sort of a post-Second World War interstate
highway kind of large scale national commitment. This is why some high-speed rail
projects are trying to avoid public funding altogether. One company, Texas Central, plans to build
a bullet train from Houston to Dallas without using a
dime of taxpayer money. We’re taking what is laborious, unreliable
four-hour drive if you’re lucky and turning that into a
reliable, safe 90 minutes. And when you look at that as a
business plan being driven by data, this is the right place to build the first
high-speed train in the United States. The Texas project is backed by investors
motivated to make a profit and will use proven
Japanese rail technology. Texas Central’s goal is to
complete the project by 2025. Another private company is even further
along with its rail system, in Florida. It’s expanding its higher-speed
train from Miami to Orlando. Orlando’s the most heavily visited
City the United States. Miami is the most heavily visit
international city in the United States. It’s too far to drive, it’s too short
to fly, we had the rail link and that was really the
genesis of the project. Wes Edens has invested heavily in Florida’s
rail project which used to be called Brightline. Brightline recently rebranded to Virgin
Trains as the company partnered with Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. The team at Brightline, which is now
called Virgin Trains, has proven that it can work. The people actually want to get out of
their cars and they’d love to be on trains. In order to reach profitability, the
company sacrificed speed to save money. If you want to really go
high-speed you have to grade separate. So you basically have to build a bridge
for 250 miles that you then put a train on. That sounds hard, and it sounds expensive
and it’s both of those things. So a huge difference in cost, a huge
difference in time to build and not that much of a reduction in service. And now tech companies are
getting involved with infrastructure projects. In the Pacific Northwest a high-speed
rail plan is underway to connect Portland, Seattle and Vancouver. Microsoft contributed $300,000 towards
research for the project. Our number one priority from Microsoft as
well it to really see and pursue this high-speed rail effort happen. If you look around the United States
and where all of the Fortune 500 companies are located they all are
in a similar situation to Microsoft. The housing is unaffordable,
traffic congestion is epic. It’s too hard to get
anywhere and to get employees. So high-speed rail can solve this
same exact problem in numerous regions around the United States. So is the private sector the answer
to bringing high-speed rail to the U.S.? If the private sector wants to invest
in transportation and as long as it’s not impinging on the public taxpayers I
don’t see a problem with private sector moving forward. And I think there is some truth that
the private sector is gonna have much more of an incentive to hurry up
on the construction and get things done more quickly, more cheaply. That said, the private sector still has
to operate with the oversight and regulatory responsibilities of
the public sector. So for example environmental review doesn’t
go away just because it’s a private sector project. Labor standards don’t go away. The difference is that they don’t have to
keep trying to sell a project to the public for a vote to
raise taxes or sell bonds. Some people remain optimistic
that the U.S. can catch up to the rest of the
world and have a robust, high-speed rail system. We’re building that right
now behind us. This 119 mile segment that we want
to expand with the money we already have to 170 miles, it’s going to serve
a population of 3 million people in the Central Valley. So it’s, not only do I
believe, but it’s under construction. A lot of activity is now taking
shape, state rail authorities have been shaped in four or five states, so
they’re actually taking these on now as a legitimate project
and moving forward. I think the future is very bright
for train travel in the United States. There’s broad consensus with our policy
leaders in industry that it’s time to move an infrastructure bill and
that will certainly help kickstart U.S. rail. Others are much less confident. I wish I were
a little more optimistic. It’s just very difficult to
make the economics work here. No one has embraced it as a
strong part of their political platform. There’s just too many other
tough pressing problems we’re facing. I don’t see us catching up
to where the world is. It would take such a massive infusion
of dollars for that to happen in California and probably waving a
number of environmental requirements and some other government regulations that
hinder the quick deployment of these projects in favor
of other values. My own instincts are that it’s going
to be decades and decades of decades before you’ll be able to go a
one-seat trip from San Diego to Sacramento or San Francisco. It’d be nice if there was just
one simple answer, it’s this litany of factors that collectively add up that make this
so hard to pull off in the United States.

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  1. check out Virgin Hyperloop One videos , this is being seriously looked at for rural Us market. Columbus, Ohio to Chicago and Pittsburg. top speed 670 Miles per hour columbus to chicago 40 minutes, people and Freight. useing current rail right of way.

  2. Oil companies have been a destructive force in this country for over a hundred years. The success of high speed rail in Europe and China tells us Socialism works.

  3. The Chinese having a one party state helps you don't have to worry about pesky democracy/lobbyists ,getting in the way ,you just do stuff .

  4. Well, with China’s population, it’s kind of HAVE TO build high speed railway to transport people back home during Chinese New Year…

  5. good idea, so the drugs can move quicker from state to state, cure something don't care about no dam high speed rail. My internet still slow and my phone keep dropping calls fix that first

  6. Oil companies have wrecked the world on so many levels. So much greed by repressing progress for everybody but themselves, they gained massive short term profits and now the rest of us pay the price :/.

  7. The simple fact is this the oil & gas lobby group own the washington politicians, they have the power to stop or prevent another approach to transport solutions. USA is a big country and it would benefit from an integrated mass transit high speed rail system. But that would mean less gasoline sold and its NOT in the interests of the oil & gas industry.
    Europe has loads of HSR, China has just installed HSR, so why not USA, backward thinking as usual. Cuts CO2 emissions, congestion, and its easier than you driving for 10-15 hours so less accidents, really its a no brainer.

  8. How the US can come up with so many excuses? Poured billions of dollars into weaponry to "protect" their country, yet can't build a fking railway. If you don't mess around with other countries and invest in some infrastructure, you won't need so much "protection".

  9. Because the US is too worried about white people disappearing with the influx of brown people, they are planning to limit (or stop) immigration and refugee programs and becoming isolationists if Trump (god forbid) gets another 4 years. Other countries are booming, the building going on in China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt… they are building far out into the deserts with enormous projects that include freeways, shopping, water canals, parks… meanwhile, Trump cut funding to help America remain an innovator and with the stupidity of climate change deniers brainwashed by the fossil fuel companies, and pushed by right-wingers via their propaganda machines such as Fox "news"; and young people today are not buying houses and they are not having children which means America's population is aging and will have no one to fill in once someone retires or becomes disabled. So, the conservative/Trump/fascist course the US is on is destined to collapse the country and we will remain behind much of the world and depending on them to invent new things…. China is doing it, we are not. Thanks, asshole Trump, fossil fuel douches, corrupt Republican politician (mostly), evangelical cults (fake christians).

  10. Many Hong Kong people don't like Chinese culture. They think that Chinese culture is low-grade.

  11. Lamestream media trying to sell the idea that America needs high speed rail, which it does. Trump stopped Federal funding the project in California because money was being used instead for upgrading the already existing labyrinth of secret under ground tunnels for human traficking, gun traficking and drug traficking

  12. One solution–reduce the birth rate. That's free. Don't listen to the baloney that the birth rate has to forever skyrocket–it's nonsense. 60% of people don't even like being parents studies show.

  13. To sum up the question posed in the title "Why The US Has No High-Speed Rail"…
    Private land and government regulations make it cost too much… 8:15 sums up the whole video.

  14. It is not really the oil / aviation / car industries alone. People around the world wants point to point transportation and rail is not the way unless you have high density population centers close to each other. US is too big and density is too low for that. They should focus more on congestion mitigation (commuter) with rail instead, or decentralized buses (company shuttles, ride sharing).

  15. Ask Boeing, GM, Ford…What do they think about this high-speed rail system? Will they like it? Then, check these companies' influences in DC. The conclusion is clear.

  16. by the time they sort all this out, these types of trains will probably be obsolete in 2 years after finishing the project

  17. People taking the train in teh U.S would release some of the pressure a lot of the major interstate roads are facing at the moment and it probably would lead to less traffic jams and cleaner air over the U.S over time

  18. wouldn't it be more simple to remove the track from the tracks and but new rails and a new train so it waists less money instead of building a new track

  19. America has too many trains derailing and train accidents, therefore, higher speed simply means more death and destruction.

  20. The United States has a hard enough time keeping low-speed trains on the track much less a high-speed one.!!!…

  21. The answer to the question in the title is the same one as to why the US has a terrible healthcare system, terrible environmental policies, more mass shootings, and is fighting unpopular costly wars in other nations: Corruption.

  22. Stop calling Czech Republic as "Czechia" it's not working that way. You're insulting one of the bravest countries in Europe(they faced Catholic crusaders in the Middle Ages alone after all)

  23. Because the US has no precision when it comes to building mechanical things. Close enough is good enough by US standards.

  24. Politics, stupid laws,private gain and not enough confidence is what keeping not just this but everything behind.(Not just is the USA but around the world)

  25. As a proponent of railroad travel as I have traveled by train in the United States(my grandfathers and father worked for railroad) and also Europe….its sad that the United States decided not to mature its railway passenger service. I would love to see better service. But unfortunately I dont see it happening.

  26. I've been 5 weeks here in the US, studying english, I love the country but it's amazing how Americans lie to themselves, full of fake news or half truths like this video, the real truth it's easy: americans doesn't want to pay taxes, if you want something, buy it by yourself, thus in every public service I've being here is years behind europe, not Germany or Sweden (you feel confortable with that, my friends) I'm talking about years behind Spain. That is less confortable.

  27. Because in the United States there are millions of lobbies and corporations that divide the country like feudalism: no one want to give up his little kingdom.

  28. Please stop saying Socialist Europe.
    Europe is based on capitalist markets and democratic elections. However, distribution of the wealth created has a social charter which varies from state to state.
    Pleases learn what Socialism is.
    It is NOT Social Capitalist Democracy!

    As for comparing the US to China – that was an interesting starting point!
    I wonder how many casualties there were in BUILDING the infrastructure in China? Not USING it!

    Do Americans want to earn Chinese wages and work in Chinese conditions?

    Europe has trains going through the Alps. Why can't the U.S. do it?
    Please use realistic comparisons….

  29. Unfortunately, the real issue was only briefly touched upon by the interviewed people. The real reason the US has no high-speed rail is because politicians won't let it happen; if politicians did permit it, they would stop receiving money from lobbyists, or worse yet, mysteriously commit suicide by shooting themselves in the back of the head twice.

  30. this all I hear from this video excuse and was waa 😭😭😭

    and if Africa can do it the us can but. they only like American things like cars and trains are better than cars

  31. @ 2:20 I had to laugh at the pronouncement that we "went from a rail served country to an auto dependent nation." Does the speaker mean we weren't DEPENDENT on rail transportation before the interstate system was built? He's an advocate for high speed rail so I understand his choice of words but it is rather disingenuous.
    If we can build a high speed rail system at a reasonable cost then great, I'll use it but so far California has spent $6 billion on one service line that was supposed to connect Northern California to the Central Valley and Southern California. When California started in 2008 the roughly 800 mile long project was estimated to cost $39 billion. It's now projected to cost between $70 and $100 billion. The total length of the interstate highway system is 46,876 miles so how much would it cost to replace those highway miles with high speed rail and what about all those communities that are not directly served by an interstate highway? Until those issues are resolved significant high speed rail in the US is a pipe dream.

  32. One of the wealthiest countries
    Built the first transcontinental railroad
    Built the first interstate system
    And here we are hoping for a just a little segment from LA to Vegas or SF

  33. We can't even keep the train stations clean in NYC let alone invest in actually building better rails and train🤦🏻‍♀️ the truth is it's all about the money not about the people!

  34. Why is rail so expensive in the US? Same reason the health care system is the most expensive in the world even though the quality is no where near the best. Because capitalism will always charge as much as possible for any product or service.
    The more critical the thing is, the more they can charge and then delay to overcharge even more.
    I'm an American living in Holland and use public transport for all longer trips, and my bike for all local stuff. Love it here!

  35. You know, the problems faced by the Acela Express, using legacy tracks with smaller radius curves, was a problem also faced in the UK. Their solution was to try to make tilting body trains, which leaned in to a curve, to allow a higher speed without passenger discomfort. Unfortunately, the first attempt, APT, failed due to teething issues and bad press. (There were a few motion sickness problems, which were exaggerated by the press getting completely hammered on an early publicity run.) The technology was eventually developed by Italian manufacturers, and in recent years has been re-introduced to the UK by one of Richard Branson’s train projects. I think a similar tilting train would be a viable option to introduce high speed rail to US legacy track with a minimum of infrastructure work. Electrification and some upgrades to signaling could be all that is needed. With the Acela line, it’d be a matter of merely getting new rolling stock since the route exists already.

    As for selling it to the American public, I think that there are some improvements to the approach taken. The “You won’t need a car if we have trains!” approach just won’t work with the car-centric culture present in the US. Sure, young folks are less enthusiastic about them, but even still there are quite a few who do, and older generations have much of the money and influence still. So you need to appeal to older generations as well. The way to do this is to challenge air travel, rather than road travel. Like the examples cited in Europe, high speed rail got a lot of its market from short haul air travel. While we are a car culture, and I myself am definitely fully on board with said culture, most people in the US seem to dislike flying. It is cramped, costly, has a horrible customer service reputation these days, is fraught with delays, has a lengthy security check process that is both unpleasant and time consuming, some poor environmental factors, and (in my opinion) generally unpleasant. Target that market, and you can get a lot more people on board. I suspect that California’s rail project could’ve gotten a lot more support if they built a Los Angeles to Las Vegas route as a proof of concept. It’s a popular route, currently dominated by the short haul airline industry. It would be less ambitious, so it could be ready sooner, demonstrating the success of the project.

    I have more faith in the private sector getting it done first. When the US was a leader in passenger rail transport, it was when private companies ran passenger transport. The US government has two major issues where it comes to developing new rail lines. Firstly, and discussed in the video, it gets political. As soon as building rail becomes seen as important to one party, the other side attacks. This would be true even if it was Republicans instead of Democrats championing these projects. The other side attacks the projects to discredit their opposition, and get elected. At best there’s often no long term will to get it done, at worse, it’s actively sabotaged as soon as someone from another party is elected. That’s the most important flaw with government run HSR projects. The other one, is that the government agencies doing this, are novices. Aside from the Acela project, there’s no experience doing this sort of thing. It’s being figured out as we go along, which, while not insurmountable, adds delays and ammunition for the opposition. The California project for example, in addition to cost overruns and delays, has its first segment in the Central Valley. Now, the connections made will have some traffic, but having the train service a major population center at the start, either San Francisco or Los Angeles, would make more sense for getting a return on investment and showing progress for the populace. Linking San Francisco to Sacramento for example could connect two of the most important cities in the state, providing a “this works, we will pull the rest off successfully if you find us.” moment.

  36. Corporate and political greed has truly hindered the growth and potential benefits the United States could experience using high speed rail. For ex: Imagine working in Chicago, while able to live in an area of Tennessee. The stark contrast between salary and cost of living would allow people to really experience the so called “American Dream”.

    These so called experts only speak of challenges, but I just hear job opportunities for American citizens.

    We won’t fix our infrastructure, we won’t add high rail systems, but cost of living and taxes keep rising. The US is becoming a dinosaur.

  37. USA's top priority of spending is military. They want to hold on to dominance at the cost of middle class and making working class men & women fight their Imperial war. Should be spent on health care & education.

  38. Oh they have High-Speed railunderground in the deep underground military bases are high speed rail and every bass way deep underground

  39. We have lite rail service throughout Cleveland. New York, Chicago, ect.. Have lite rail. I zip accross Cleveland at 60 mph with no stop lights . It's great. If I had access to high speed rail, I would use it.

  40. The U.S is the type of country that if aliens were to arrive on Earth & give the cure for all cancers/diseases to the world, the U.S would not want us Americans to have it because that would mean less money for all big pharma companies, medical equipment companies, pharmacies, charities, etc. And they absolutely positively definitively would NOT let that happen. sigh… Good ol Greed

  41. They’ve been talking about building a high speed railway between Atlanta and Chattanooga since the early 2000s if not earlier and nothing has even happened!

  42. The United States is the land of opposites. They have a special attitude to small arms, despite many deaths with these. And cars are the king of the road, despite many overweight Americans would benefit from cycling and getting exercise. Public transport should be developed and cars made smaller and more fuel efficient. It would be good for the world's climate.

  43. I used to live in the States. I don't think High speed train is very necessary in the States. But in China, it's different. Let me tell you why.
    1. Rich population of people. 2.Most of them are poor compare to people in the US. So not everyone has a car. 3. Most people live in the cities in the east of China. 4.Most people live in apartments not houses. (NY Style:Tiny apartment, limited spaces, not LAs Swimming pool, big house) . 5.China has really good public transportation systems(Taxis,Metro, Bus, Public bikes) . 6. China doesn't have as many airports as US has. US has a lot of small sizes airports located in small cities. 7, Airports in big cities of China are always super busy. Planes always always get delayed. 8. In big cities, always traffic jams. Way worse than NYC's 9. China doesn't have freeway. Highway fee is expensive. Gas is expensive. 10. For such a high speed train, its rails have to be built quite straight. In China it's much easier for the government to plan and build it since Chinese people don't own land but only the government does.

    That's why people tend to take trains. But in the US?

  44. Japan, China, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Belgium hace got a huge hig speed raíl network…There was a polítical decission to develop it, but not in the USA where infrastructures are really very old, Every 4 years there is an opportunity to change it., next in 2020

  45. erm.. that lady states that it cost 150 milions per mile road relocation. seem overpriced https://youtu.be/Qaf6baEu0_w?t=472

  46. It's because the land is big enough where everyone has spread themselves out that they have to own a car to get out of their house. So the idea of public transportation is nice but not necessary because driving without transfers is always more convenient in some regards. Also to get to your last leg of your destination, it has to be done by car. Buses don't go there. Might as well do the long drive. LA to Las Vegas would be nice. LA to SF would be nice. But we use planes for that and it works well enough.

  47. This leads me to think central planning, in the right hands, is far superior than democratic capitalism where it's inevitably controlled by big powerful corporations not working for the greater good of the country's citizens.

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