Biden's speech for the 50th anniversary of Amtrak said some amazing things about the Northeast rail corridor.
Interesting part of the speech, for me, starts at 16 minutes in and goes to about 19 minutes. Just 3 minutes of amazing numbers.
Between New York and Washington, DC, Amtrak carries 4 times as many passengers as all the airlines along the east coast. Amazing.
One wonders if these numbers stand up to fact checking, but, so far, I haven't heard it disputed.
If those Amtrak passengers had to go by car, 7 new lanes would have to be added to I-95.
Yes, rail works in the Northeast Corridor. It goes pretty fast, but isn't considered "high speed rail" by certain international standards. Still, it's pretty good.
Biden said that there are only 3 curves, along that route, which could be removed to bring this already existing line closer to high speed.
I got to thinking they already have a good right of way through a densely populated corridor. That's why rail works so good there.
The dream of fast trains, in California, is more the brunt of jokes.
High speed going through California's Central Valley, between San Francisco and Los Angeles is too already built up with sprawl for a new dedicated corridor. Too many crossings and so forth. Prime farmland. Sprawling cities, like Fresno. That's a problem with California's proposed high speed line between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Another fast train idea might work better for California, however.
Los Angeles to Las Vegas, Nevada. That is now being talked about for high speed rail. Much of that corridor is sparsely populated desert with the two large passenger generation points at both ends. Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
I think the dream of a nationwide high speed network is beyond our means, but we can benefit from rail improvements.
When I use Amtrak, I'm on vacation so speed isn't the only criteria.