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.

100 thoughts on “Why The US Has No High-Speed Rail

  1. I live in Boston MA for many years, the traffic here has became one of the worst in the country. Our train/subway system is still running from the 1970s (if not longer). Its SAD!




  4. Correction my friend Japan has the fastest trains in the world!!!! US destroyed all the good tracks and left the remaining ones only for freight trains. Trains can't compete with the planes here in the US, this is not Europe where everything is next to each other

  5. Being a travelier by auto and house trailer since a child, the world envies the "waves of grain and purple mountains majesty" which is our country. No seat belts, open spaces, fresh air, and loving the lives and dreams of free Americans making something of themselves such as Goodyear, Firestone, Ford, Chevrolet, etc. Travelling is a process, not a matter of instantly getting from point A to point B and back again.

  6. All I get is that the US government is like a whining child while China government is a smart mature adult. Its pretty sad when private companies pave the way for rail and other technological advances and our government is stuck in the 1800's. Yet look at what our Government does spent on other things like military, foreign aid, transportation for the president, and so many other things. For something like High Speed rail our government should make accomidations for environmental red tape as this would help the environment. Help local economy. And help people individually better their lives.

  7. Because Hi Speed rail is a boondoggle and waste of money. Because it is completely stupid to regress to 19th century technology when we now have AIRPLANES which can be re-routed at a moments notice and they are much easier to upgrade and maintain rather than millions of miles of infrastructure having to be constantly maintained. The icon of the train never dies for those who wish to fool the public into thinking that rails will EVER be efficient EVER again.

  8. Just to clarify, the terrain in China is the most complicated across the world, so thats not an excuse of not having high-speed rail.
    Btw, the Bureau of high-speed rail in China owes an enormous amount of debt to the banks which may never be repaid on its own, but if the establishment of one high-speed rail could improve 1% of the local economic in an area, the debt would be nothing compared to this economic improvement. So state-wise, having high-speed rail is a perfect way to improve economics.
    This is one of the reason why the US just cant have such thing.

  9. I would love to see high-speed trains around the US…but the economics just doesn't work. That $200 million per mile is something that planes and buses don't have to do. The infrastructure is already there.

    Also, no one is mentioning how danged expensive the high speed trains in Europe are…Americans care a lot more about this than Europeans as well. These trains are like the Concorde most of the time…it costs a quarter of the money to take the bus, and the schedules are usually better, also buses can go more places. This is why Mexico City has four bus terminals as big as the one in LA, as well as bus-based "Metro" systems with their own lanes like LA. Mexico City is a much better model for California than Europe when it comes to public transit, with buses, metro, minibuses, and local municipal taxis. It has nearly twice the people as LA, and I can easily get from anywhere an hour outside the city to anywhere in the city center in two hours on transit. In Europe, only Eastern Europe's old slow communist trains are cheaper than buses and budget airlines.

    The San Francisco-LA line is just a losing battle. It literally costs like $50 to fly to from Sacramento, Oakland, San Jose to LAX, Burbank, Orange County, Ontario, or San Diego. Most of these airports are either small or centrally located so besides LAX and SFO you don't need to waste much time getting there and going through security (about 45 minutes). A high speed rail or hyperloop is going to take you 3-4 hours to do what takes 45 minutes on a plane and it will take you to downtown LA, from which it might take you 90 minutes to take a bus where you need to go (or if it's the evening and you need to go to Long Beach, just forget it.)

    We should be investing in buses and hybrid/more environmentally friendly airplanes in these sorts of cases, and in the case of LA, until local transportation systems/car shares/etc are better, you will need your car once you get to LA anyway…

    Now, Houston-Dallas is a smaller, higher trafficked, shorter corridor. You will probably save time vs flying. Also land is MUCH cheaper than California and much flatter. After the initial investment, this one will make sense. Boston to DC makes sense. Maybe to Chicago…maybe…But out west or in cross-country travel, in most cases flying is going to be cheaper and more convenient, which is what Americans will choose every time. LA-Dallas is not going to be worth it as far as high speed rail is concerned until the trains are going as fast as airplanes (another 200 mph) or until the links between are worth servicing. (Phoenix-LA in 3-4 hours might be worth it, but New Mexico doesn't have the population to sustain the need for high-speed rail)

  10. @3:45 ..says it ALL! “people weren’t forced to switch; the just accepted it”
    did they have a choice? Billions wasted?

  11. Asian countries consist of a polite society and that's why it works for them. Americans can't get along well enough to be packed onto trains day after day. Usage would be so low that a high- speed system would go broke and fail within 2 yrs. The existing rail transit systems in the U.S. are falling apart and are nasty as hell. Another problem with these "High-speed" rail systems is that rail dependency is growing in the countries that have them. That is a disaster waiting to happen. It would only take 4 bombs on Japans High-speed rail system to cripple it's major cities, 8 for China and only 8 for the entire European system. The current Rail systems in NYC and Chicago could be brought down by 1 each and they wouldn't have to be near the actual rails.

  12. High speed rail is not that good I lived in Japan for 10 years and trust me…horrible idea..what do you do when you get to the train Depot of choice?..well your stuck taking a taxi the rest of the way…horrible congestion…

  13. “Wahhhhh there’s no high speed trains to take me places in America, wahhh”

    Maybe that’s because you can buy cheap ass plane tickets for next to nothing and get around the country like everybody else

  14. If the gov focus in cars so let's people have flying car. Forget around speed train. Flying car only fly in highway, rivers or somewhere less residential. Not in cities. I think this will help a lots about traffic .

  15. Trade in my 500 horsepower twin turbo car, that makes me smile every time I get in it, to sit on a train!?!?!? Sign Me Up!!!

  16. I just hear a lot of excuses. Frankly, it appears to me everyone is trying to scale up too quickly.

    I think it makes more sense to put high-speed rail underground in cities (forget above ground altogether) and then at least every city will have "some" capability then slowly scale up to interconnecting nearby cities prioritizing the shortest routes first between cities.

    I can see this as a huge playing field for private contractors and a big boost to job creation thereby benefiting the overall economy. You need people who can think outside the box here. You don't need people saying "oh this can't be done" or "oh this is going to take too long". That is lazy IMO.

    Frankly, I'd like to see high speed rail in Canada too where I live.

  17. One of the main drivers that made America great from the late 19th century on was the expansion of the "iron horse." But you only have to travel to international financial hubs of Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong and New York to see that American infrastructure is now third world by comparison. Want to really make America great again? Invest properly in infrastructure. As terrible a regime as China is, their commitment to infrastructure since the 1990s is what has brought 600 million people out of poverty in 30 years. America had similar expansion in the early 20th century but sat on it since.

  18. I don't like bridges because South Sàn Francisco earthquake détroyed bridges in Oakland city.

  19. While China is building infrastructures all over the world, USA is busy building military bases all over the world and waging wars on others' lands, destroying infrastructure and killing hundreds of of innocent lives.

  20. So embarrassing. Instead of a wall maybe just maybe we will get into the 21 century and become relevant again

  21. The US has no high speed rail because corporations are cheap and don't want to invest the money in one. This is a problem with a capitalist government. When all the big bucks winning private enterprises decide not to invest in modern technology, it doesn't happen for a capitalist country. If the US had a socialism government, the US would already have a high speed rail system in place.

  22. If they the usa are puts in high speed rails it would eliminate the homeless problem in this country

  23. By now it's clear the USA can do just about anything.. but we have a Congress that bows to lobbyists and take a guess at which ones don't want high speed rail cutting into their profits.

  24. We don't have the herd mentality in the US……who wants to sit and smell human breath for 200 hundred miles…..screw you

  25. Freedom on wheels… pfft, you won't be saying that if you were swirling around the mall parking lot for 50 mins trying to find a parking spot.

  26. An easy solution to get it done, is do away with the need of money. Yes we have mountainous terrain but also have extreme flat lands.trains above ground would be slowed in various areas, under ground would be best, but ridership would be low. How about those politians forfeit their pay to build whats needed. As a tax payer i would rather be taxed for the rail way instead of someone who seldom shows positive strides in their promises. Besides as with many others, I am taxed the most as a single person, every year irs always wants more from me. Every year file tax "return" for us low income, middle class, working class, single people it generally ends up as "owe" so best solution get rid of the need of money, then it can be built and better things can be built, less suffering in our nation. Heck, the world over needs to give up on the need of money, after all it was invented. We should go to a system that houses you and provides the lights, heat, and other things you use – by being a productive member. Which you can be even if you have certain issues! Those who are considered unable to work or do pertty much anything they are still in good care because the person with them is being the productive by caregiving. In that setup there would be no homeless issues unless by choice.

  27. Oil and automobile lobbies aside, the two parties are at it every 4 years to take the White House. And politicians don't see high speed rail as a viable campaign promise. It takes billions of dollars, so in the short term runs up the budget deficit, then the average joe won't see its benefits for decades possibly.

    The fact is the US is running such a populist electoral narrative that any projects big, long and meaningful will never see the light of day.

  28. actually,American and the president dont like the public transportation! They need to consume oil …

  29. I'm sorry but the Bullet Train is a wicked devices stem from Hiroshima 🚄 design for terrorist attack? Ive had dreams of me walking and I saw a train coming when I saw the train coming I went on the train their when no seats I saw nuclear liquid inside and then everything blew up so you people need to find the truth behind these wicked devices. The truth behind the Bullet Train is very sinister God sent me to stop it and I entend to stop you evil people

  30. The United States, the country with the many excuses for why they can't do like everyone else. The answer to why was presented at the beginning of the video. The United States is a corrupt system ruled by powerful lobbies which, thanks to an inefficient political system that sticks to how one did when the US Republic was created in the 1700s, is unable to do anything about anything

  31. This can be done here in the US so don't say that it can't but your greedy politicians won't let it happen. If we had high speed rail here it would be better for the environment and we all know that when mother earth is happy we are all happy.

  32. I just gained an new respect for Microsoft. I hope they will stick with it and send a line to SF, afterward.

  33. Nothing to do with terrain, first tunnel built was 1986 underwater lol, whether it’s mountains whatever, America needs new leaders, they have no vision besides when they see themselves in the mirror lol

  34. Every time a white man in involved.
    , it’s always costly because they’re motivated by money

  35. You don't have the capitals to put high speed rails across the country, may be ask the Fed to print more it could help..

  36. After World War II a company was formed and funded by General Motors, Firestone Tire, and Standard Oil. This company proceeded to buy up all the light rail systems across the country and then dismantle them, burning up the trolley cars and ripping out the rails. With no light rail infrastructure the use of trains for travel was made these useful. In European countries one can land at an airport and then travel by light rail to a train station and then take a high speed train to another city or another country and then exit the train station and take light rail or subways to their final destination. No need for a car at any point in time.

    In the United States the US Congress has dramatically cut funding for passenger trains and reduced the number of miles of rail as well as hobbling the passenger train service with old rail lines and old equipment. Traveling by train in the United States takes longer now than it did prior to World War II. In California the Union Pacific has shunted passenger trains to side rails to provide faster times for freight trains and so it can take more than 12 hours to go from Salinas to Los Angeles, a distance of 300 miles. People drive this distance in half the time by car and so it is the "choice" that is made.

    Transportation systems in the United States show how effective capitalists are in providing the most profitable and least efficient solutions and how easy it is to corrupt federal, state, and local elected officials and buy their support.

  37. Loyalty to Saudi's. Oligarchs slaves…usa just wont stand on own feet. Jokers wild country for privateers. And look what happens when a Morgan beats a Tesla. tss. You guys dont have a royal house…then why would anyone pay taxes…other than for COMMUNAL goods/means/etc.

  38. Suffering before wisdom/beeing real. Yeah typical how all Catholic countries/area's are (deliberately) man's filthiest, or have thé most sluggish bureacracy. and possibly will drive on another 20 years as a slave of their outdated v12 10's, etc. Biggest the best better than the rest feeling must wear off some day..maybe then america is freed…without its dumb pride. and corruption and its toying with words as "security, oppertunity and freedom" up…while it actually only means to maintain secrecy for the select elect. Serving con's too long huh shadowpeople …

  39. No just remain in your dumps…MARS let's go there. Silly students…first stop making earth look as a gddmn immature dormroom! Dont care wheter you are trump putin. whomever themselfs! #LEVELUP

  40. USA too busy going bac to moon and going to Mars.for 25 years.Also remember Chinese BIG PART of original golden spike railroad.. Cutting Buffalo herd in two.also u could tell how far railroad progressing by Chinese being hung from telegraph poles…

  41. A hundred years ago, Chinese workers went to the United States to build railways,Their efforts went down the drain.

  42. Very simple concept completely omitted. Population density. Compare the high speed rails, the areas they serve, the distance, and the number of people per acre and then try to make that work in the US. The US is massive. it's not some tiny island nation with mega cities, it's not some flat farmland between densely populated regions. The people are much more evenly spaced in the US. Part of the way a high speed rail works is also missed, it can't stop every 5 minutes. Because the people are not only in dense pockets in the US, you would fly by a huge percentage of the population only to support a very limited number of somewhat dense areas.

    The US is also not a place where everyone goes to the same place. Look at the airline routes, it is a massive mesh of people going all over the place. To compare that with the TGV for London to Paris, a tiny 214 mile distance between the two is a joke. That short distance wouldn't get you out of the short side of most the larger states.

    Step back and look at the big picture. The areas currently served by high speed rail are tiny. Super convenient, but they are short, cover an area where population density is high on both ends of the line, and involve very frequent travel between just those two points. To extrapolate that to having high speed rail all over the US is silly. How many people living in Dallas would use a high speed rail to Houston (239 miles) and so on. Then what would be the advantage over just driving on the freeway? It's a 4 hour drive, a 2 hour TGV, or a 45 min flight. But, if you just drive you take away all the checking in/out scheduling, no security lines, not transport to the train station or airport, and so on. By driving your own car, you don't have to worry about getting from the train station or airport to your final destination and you have local transportation.

    To act like there is a conspiracy by car makers and oil companies against rail is incompetent. Americans are practical and understand that paying billions for the convenience of something not as fast as just doing it yourself is wasteful and not green.

  43. 0:19 "without a single passenger casualty" — not true: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wenzhou_train_collision

  44. The problem is were too in love with our cars hello people climate emergency head doesn't mean anything to us do we care of course it was the big oil and car entire companies that did them in Omar railways

  45. I love train travel! I would use it. People should vote on it. I used to travel from Miami to New York for visits to relatives. It was fun!

  46. Let’s face it congress just doesn’t want to go against their paying masters! Period!

  47. I will never ride a train. I have a car and access to an airport. Trains are not relevant in 2020 usa

  48. who cares about rails when your government term is only 4 years and rails takes at least a decade to complete

  49. It's called by a car like a normal adult also the 1920s called they want their trains back oh and we also have this thing called an airplane now it's a handy invention

  50. When talking high speed railway systems, you guys are totally hurting the feelings of Boeing and Tesla and other auto makers. 💔

  51. The American government is the most corrupt entity in the free world. It's fortunate for them that many corporates there can finance those fat cats in D.C. and state capitals. In the mean time they will interfere in other countries as a way to divert people's attention from their incompetence

  52. But how many people would actually use it.what are the benefits,you still need some transportation to get to your destination from the train depots so cars would still be needed

  53. I was lucky enough to go to mainland China earlier this year and was thoroughly amazed by the trains…

    They make America look like a third world country lol

    Between India, China, Japan, Singapore, Asia definitely has a brighter future than any other region

    Proud to be apart of it haha

  54. Than what are the USA gonna do about the green house gases, what are they gonna do about GLOBAL WARMING???????

  55. High speed rail is very expensive. Most of the other countries that have it take money from the taxpayers to build it whether the taxpayers use it or not. That is not moral. High speed rail will be part of the US transportation system when people demand it and it becomes profitable to build and operate. Until then, it should not be built with public money.

  56. Very good article. Sad indictment on the American Way though. Private companies have too much political power in the US.

  57. Contract to Chinese company to build the US high speed rail, at half the cost and a quarter of the construction time.China built the 1318 km (817 miles) Beijing to Shanghai high speed rail in just over 3 years.

  58. Some of this is just exercises in stupid. I mean the lady was talking like dealing with private property, utilities and the freeway was a surprise! The orignal plan was to cost 30 billion dollars. Where did the extra $40 billion…BILLION dollars come from? How were they all so wrong on everything? Then they compare it to states that don't have eminent domain? Japan and China took the land they needed. They didn't buy it, they didn't haggle or hassle for it. They told people that on such and such a day your house will be gone and if your in it we will destroy the house with you in it…and they both did. Both Japan and China killed people who didn't want to move. This whole thing is the stupid leading the stupid.

  59. The cost overruns are a serious problem but consider this. It's projected to cost $77 billion, but for that amount of money we would have a legitimate high-speed rail system to transport millions of people, boost the economy, and reduce emissions. The total cost is 1/10th of what we spend on defense EVERY YEAR! For the cost of the Republican tax reform plan that we wasted $1.5 trillion on, we could have built 20 high-speed rail systems just like this in different places throughout the country.

  60. The U.S is becoming a living time capsule. We are supposed to be innovative but lag in basic transportation options. It's almost 2020 and we don't have an high speed rail system smh. U.S is way too corrupt!

  61. China can do it for 10 Million easy. Politics and corruption, that's clearly the problem here

  62. Forget HSR…MTA has being "fixing" their transit system for over 10 years. That's just for "ONE" city! Delay, Delay, Delay, yes, more Delays!

  63. Oil companies are the main problem. I support rail. I'm sick of sitting in grid lock traffic.our representatives need to work for us.

  64. America is literally run by a mafia on so many levels…. no wonder a like mafia boss is our president he’s perfect for us.

  65. Basically the USA is a nation of a bunch of entitled self absorbed grown up brats, who care nothing for the nation, and what’s best for society, our emphasis in individualism is our downfall in so many ways.

  66. To make trains effective means that American people must give up having houses with yards or has a large space that surrounds the house, they will live have to live in 10 story buildings to save up space in order for them to reach train stations effectively.

  67. Too many lobbists powered by the magnates. Money for venture? Neh, they prefer concurrent flow of cashes into the pocket.

  68. One reason that rail travel is better developed and more popular in Europe is the distances traveled. Every country in Europe, including Ukraine, the largest, is smaller than Texas. Western European countries, like Germany, France, and Spain, can be crossed by train in a business day, or one vacation day.

  69. Why US has no high speed rail? Easy answer….poor political leadership? Lobby driven political leadership? Bernie is not President.

  70. $2trillion for Iraq AVAILABLE $0.05trillion for high speed rail NOT AVAILABLE???Weird or is "Mission accomplished"?

  71. You know a good idea? Build the second story on the existing railway then you don't have to buy land! What the hell? Why don't they do it?

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