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Author Topic: REVIVING THE ONCE-MIGHTY RAILROAD  (Read 319 times)
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Posts: 41646

« on: April 24, 2009, 08:54:48 am »

Theory and practice

Washington - one of the states most committed to rail - may be looking forward to running trains at 110mph -
but Spain, for example, is already running services at 205mph.

                        California corridor : Bay Area, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego


Pacific Northwest corridor : Eugene, Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, Vancouver British Columbia

South Central corridor : Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Little Rock

Gulf Coast corridor : Houston, New Orleans, Mobile, Birmingham, Atlanta

Chicago hub network : Chicago, Milwaukee, Twin Cities, St. Louis, Kansas City, Detroit, Toledo,

Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville

Florida corridor : Orlando, Tampa, Miami

Southeast corridor : Washington, Richmond, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta, Macon, Columbia, Savannah, Jacksonville

Keystone corridor : Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh

Empire corridor : New York City, Albany, Buffalo

Northern New England corridor : Boston, Montreal, Portland, Springfield, New Haven, Albany

And down in California they are planning an entirely new high-speed line from Sacramento south to San Diego running at up to 220mph.

Parts of it could, in theory, open by 2020 but Mr Wood says his passengers will see improvements long before that. And the White House wants results fast.

The passengers waiting at Seattle's King Street Station are attracted by the convenience of leaving from the city centre, the lack of security hassles and the cheap fares. The station has seen better days but a refurbishment is soon to return it to its original 1906 glory.

Joseph, 25, is waiting to travel to Portland. He likes the simplicity of rail, the views from the train windows - and the fact it is costing him just $30 one-way. "And this is West Coast America: like lots of people I want a greener way to travel. Trains are a way to cut your carbon footprint."

On the next bench is Molly, a student. "Trains are great for a journey this length," she says.

The 150 miles to Portland takes three and a half hours. Some think that is about as long as anyone will sit on a train.

"But I went on a train from Seattle to San Jose in California. It took 24 hours but I enjoyed it. If you could do that high-speed it'd be a really fun thing to do," says Molly.

Democrat-voting, ecologically-minded western Washington seems a good place to test if in the era of Mr Obama, the US really is getting more rail-minded.

But as the US seeks to cut its dependence on foreign oil - and cut its air pollution - those running its railroads are just beginning to hope things finally have changed in their favour.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 08:55:16 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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