Insight. Antics.

Archive for April 17th, 2009|Daily archive page

Grand Funk Railroad.

In Politics on April 17, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Over the last year or two the idea of rail travel as a transportation alternative in this country has gained some momentum, aka any momentum considering it had almost none before (except from addictive jingle Senate candidate extraordinaire Gail Parker!)

NBC Nightly News had a great report Saturday evening adding context and specificity to the cost and approach of implementing high-speed rail.  Somehow, I caught this broadcast live.  It was a quiet weekend evening.  In the process, I single-handedly lowered the median viewership age to 28 from 68.  Maybe there will be fewer Flomax ads now.

If there is any doubt high-speed rail is much faster than what we have now, take this illustration.  Right now the fastest commuter train in the US is the Amtrak Acela and it travels from New York to Washington D.C. in 3 hours and 5 minutes, give or take.  Its average speed is 84 mph.  (It could go over 100 mph but the track it uses does not enable that.)  High-speed trains like the ones in Europe and Japan go 200 mph and higher.  If you apply that to the NY to DC route, we are talking about a traffic-less trip in an hour to an hour and 15 minutes.

Two other words that don’t come into play on those 5-hour automotive escapades between Gotham and the Potomac: bar car.


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