Guess Who’s Anti-Rail … and Why.
The obstacles facing high-speed rail in this country are mostly without merit and almost entirely political in nature. The on-going example of that foolishness is the relentless effort in Texas to stop the proposed high-speed train linking Houston and Dallas.
Some of the opposition is coming from shameless politicians who are cheerfully misinforming their constituents about the project. Then there’s the Heritage Foundation and other Libertarian “think tanks”. These are the people who champion of the free enterprise system, yet here they’re actively opposing a rail project being built by private investors with no taxpayer dollars involved. Is it possible the people who say these non-profit “foundations” are just shills for the oil and gas industries have been right all along?
Meanwhile, I just received the latest newsletter from the Midwest High Speed Rail Association. It includes a story about the opening of a 250-mile lhigh speed rail line in Saudi Arabia connecting the cities of Mecca and Medina. The trains run at 300 kilometers per hour, which translates to about 187 miles-per-hour. The Saudi trains will be run by the Spanish nation rail company.
The item includes a right-on comment by Rick Harnish, executive director of the association. He points out the important difference between high-speed trains and competing modes of transportation—airplanes and automobiles: you can actually do business on these trains! Have meetings, handle paperwork, have phone conversations, even conduct conference calls—all at 200 miles-per-hour.
And the Chinese have announced that their high-speed rail system will be expanded to more than 20,000 miles and that more than 80-percent of their major cities—that is, cities of a million or more people—will be connected by that system. Wow! And this will all happen—Are you ready?—by the end of 2020.
Of course, neither the Saudis nor the Chinese have to deal with anything like the obstacles confronting high-speed rail projects in this country. I’m assuming that the Saudi system, was built across mostly desert without a lot of topographical obstacles and the Chinese just inform anyone in the way of a new rail line that there’s a train coming and they have x-number of weeks to get the hell out of the way. That’s due process in China.