It’s not a “should do” thing – it’s a MUST DO. First, because HSR will increase employment, and career opportunities will increase dramatically; economic recovery would stabilize nationally – and very quickly. I should probably qualify that and say “if it’s done properly and is a national project rather than an Obama Administration 85-mile route in Florida,” economic recovery will stabilize nationally.
Local, State and Federal tax revenues would stop their drop into oblivion. Is there a city or town that didn’t think the gravy train would go on forever – and are suffering mightily from their over-spending and lack of saving for economic downturns?
Second, we MUST do it because the rest of the world is passing America by in the world of transportation. This isn’t about winning a competition, it’s about increasing our capacity to produce and compete with other nations effectively.
Japan implemented its first HSR train in the mid-1960s. On any given day in France, more than 450 high-speed rail trains are running. Another 40 are in use between the U.K. and the Continent. In China, they have opened – or are set to open – 42 high-speed rail lines. Numerous lines have already been opened.
What does Obama give us? An 85-mile route that links Tampa with Orlando – and that isn’t high-speed rail, at all. Instead, it’s rapid transit. Are Obama and Biden so uninformed that they don’t know the definition of “high-speed rail”? Or, are they telling us they want to spend money we don’t have on high-speed rail that isn’t really high-speed rail? Every day we lose is costing us money. Thanks to the irresponsible monetary policies of the Federal Reserve System, inflation will make it twice as costly to do high-speed rail in the future. We’re uninformed by the mainstream media and that’s why talk radio is so important.
People talk about the cost of high-speed rail, but it is tens of billions less costly than the alternative – expanding highways and airports to accommodate population growth. And, the environmental advantages to HSR ARE PHENOMENAL – far better than jets, buses and cars. People who think it’s costly to build a high-speed rail train need to check with Boeing to find out the cost of building planes (that carry far fewer people) for the airline industry. Of course, the government doesn't own the airlines – yet – but wants to own high-speed rail.
WHAT IS HIGH-SPEED RAIL?
A. High-speed rail trains exceed 150 m.p.h. China’s newest trains average 222 m.p.h.
B. Rapid transit trains average between 75/100 to 150 m.p.h.
C. Traditional Rail – or, Amtrak – travels from zero to 75/100 m.p.h.
It’s important for listeners to know this because if they don’t, when Barack Obama or Joe Biden say “high-speed rail” but provide an 85- or 90-mile train route which, in reality, is “rapid transit,” no one will understand they are being had – that Joe and Barack really aren’t talking about high-speed rail. They say they’ll build high-speed rail – which is more costly so they need more money – but instead plan to build less-costly rapid transit. They’re promising one thing and doing another. Rapid transit – the Obama/Biden plan – does nothing to make America more competitive with rail systems in China, Japan, France and Germany.
OTHER IMPORTANT DIFFERENCES.
1. The newest HSR trains don’t rely on locomotives pulling or pushing them. Power is distributed throughout the undersides of the train cars. Again, a total difference between rapid transit and traditional rail.
2. In addition to track beds and rails and fences and signals and new train depots that need to be built, we will need a new electrical grid – a system with substations (nuclear/non-nuclear). Can the government afford that? I don’t think so! That’s why it requires a private investor who is experienced in the field and knows what he’s doing. If Obama and Biden can’t even define high-speed rail properly, how in the world can we expect them to build it?
3. That’s why so many new jobs will be created if high-speed rail is constructed nationally. You don’t get those jobs by building an 85-mile long rapid transit route in Florida and calling it high-speed rail.
One thing I like about the AmeriRail HSR plan is that the company will hire and train our veterans who are returning from the Middle East. Here’s what their statistics say about job creation:
1. Within 60 days: 100,000 new career employees;
2. Within 120 days: 300,000 additional new career employees;
3. Within 180 days: 600,000 additional, new career employees;
4. Within 270 days: 200,000 additional, new career employees;
5. Within 365 days: 300,000 additional, new career employees;
6. Within 18 months: 500,000 additional new career employees.
The AmeriRail plan results in two million new career employees for at least five years – that’s Private Sector, not government/public sector jobs.
That sounds like a lot of jobs, but in China, 110,000 jobs were created for one 820-mile high-speed rail route from Shanghai to Beijing. Another plan, created by the State of Florida (not by Joe Biden or Barack Obama or the federal government) for its high-speed rail system, created 40,000 new jobs for that State, alone. Multiply that by 50. The jobs are in construction, manufacturing, operations, maintenance, etc. The AmeriRail plans call for coast-to-coast construction, East/West and North/South. A copy of the company’s map is available at my blog: http://hsr-marilyn.blogspot.com.
HISTORY OF HSR USAGE:
At peak times, more than 1,000 people leave Paris every 30 minutes for Lyon – and those trains are full. Why? Because for every 621,000 miles HSR trains travel, there are only FIVE MINUTES of delays. Those statistics came from the French.
In the almost 50 year history of high-speed rail, not a single death has occurred. The technology is so great, the precautions taken so specifically defined, there have been no deaths.
If a train gets close to another train ahead of it, it slows down automatically – or it shuts down altogether if it gets too close.
THE POLITICS OF IT ALL:
The airlines are poorly run and, as a result, are in financial trouble. Add a bad economy to that scenario and they are in a lot of financial trouble. Their lobbyists must be fighting hard against high-speed rail because it will cut into their already hurting cash flow. Experience around the world proves that consumers choose high-speed rail, not airplanes, for trips of three-hours, or less. There go the flights between Chicago/ Cincinnati/St. Louis/Minneapolis and between Denver/Salt Lake City/Phoenix, etc. Actually, high-speed rail would allow the airlines to go back to what they were intended to do: Carry passengers on long flights and stop socking it to people who need only travel short distances but must pay an arm and a leg for a 300 or 400 mile trip.
Too, the Federal Rail Administration just doesn’t have a clue when it comes to high-speed rail. In my Canada Free Press article, I refer to the terrible “Business Plan” created for high-speed rail by that agency. I mention that the Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, focused on safety to a point that makes it impossible to build an American high-speed rail system. In a June 2009 New York Times article, those affiliated with European high speed rail are quoted as saying: “The FRA has largely focused on requiring trains to demonstrate crash worthiness, whereas in Europe and Asia the emphasis is on avoiding crashes.” Maybe that’s why in the almost 50 year history of high-speed rail there has not been a death caused by an accident.
And, bottom line, that’s why private investors who know what they’re doing need to build high-speed rail: They know what they’re doing.