High Speed Rails: Too Expensive or a Necessity? (VIDEO)

Congress recently passed legislation in the stimulus bill, providing $8 billion for high speed rail lines around the nation. Ten states have already put in requests for funding for 20 different lines.

Japan, China, France and Spain are all ahead of us in building these bullet trains. But some people say they would be too costly and would never generate enough revenue to make a profit. Others say high speed rail is crucial for our country’s economic growth and infrastructure in the 21st Century, and building them will provide jobs. 

This video provides news reports and analysis of the issue from a number of angles.

What do you think?


Photo credit: Philopp


Andrew D.
Andrew D.7 years ago

It can work in North America, most of the people that are speaking against train have links to Big Oil, auto industry & the highway lobby.

Charles Temm JR
Charles Temm JR7 years ago

It's successful in other countries because of unique factors that do NOT exist in this country people.

First off is population density. Not even the East coast is as densely populated as the countries where such rail is a (relative) success. Packed together as Europeans and Japanese are, rail makes much more sense for movement.

Second is national size. The US is larger than all those high speed rail users put together. Trying to create a similar net would be incredibly expensive, just think of how much MORE land would need to be taken for such a net.

Third, government policy in those same areas discourages individual travel with higher gas and other user taxes. Its far cheaper for Americans to travel (not to mention more convenient) than people in those countries with their own personal means of transport.

Non cargo rail is an expensive flop here. If AMTRAK can't survive without huge subsidies, how in hell can a much more expensive system ever gain enough riders to do so? This is another example of people believing that desire equals feasibility and damn the cost....

Edward M.
Edward M7 years ago

If not rail, what would be put in it's place?
Think how many people can be carried by one train against the alternative means of transport; it's really a no-brainer!

Elwin H.
Elwin H.7 years ago

Many advanced nations (of which we used to be one,) have super speed trains. 3 nations we conquered in WW II now have them. 3 of our WW II Allies have them. The most populated nation in the world has the fastest one which has exceeded 500 KMH (311 mph), but the 3rd most populous nation in the world, US can't? I personally know investor's want to invest $ Billions! Problem: investors cannot endure California's 18 year environmental study requirement. California voters passed $ Billions in bond issues, but the U.S. Congress held up the project by saying there haven't been enough environmental studies done yet. They allow more choking fumes from automobiles, but reducing this toxic air is not in our environmental interest? Who is lying to who and for who? WE know where our elected and media people's funding comes from. A local rail transit system in Sacramento was prohibited from putting a bridge across the river by Enviromentalists. The Governor made a command decision & overrode the environmental Nazis who over do protections often times to remain employed. I can understand that, but if we are going to see super speed maglev & rail lines built with long straight lines that are needed, Governors or the President will have to override ridiculous environmental 1884-like regulation. There is less regulation in Communist China! Ridership Studies have shown profitability! Investors have already bought up long corridors of land in anticipation. Plow OVER regulation

Past Member
Past Member 7 years ago

If so successful in other countries then why not here? We could easily afford it if we just made some minor cuts to our military budget....the budget that just keeps getting bigger...nah, that will never happen.

Gregory E.
Gregory Ewing7 years ago

Does no-one consider the problems of petroleum gas running out; rapidly getting more and more expensive; and causing environmental disasters more frequently as we desperately try to extricate more carbon? So what if I can drive across florida slightly quicker than I can go by train? I would guess that one train will replace at least 500 cars with their polluting fuel or one jetliner with even greater impact on the enviroment.

I fear big business, this time in the form of road, automobile and fossil fuel lobbyists will win the day once more. Will we ever learn?

Alim M.
Alim M7 years ago

These will be a GREAT way for the elite slave masters to quickly transport their sheeple between their work camps and their sleep camps!

Kimberly Bennett
Kimberly Bennett7 years ago

the price on this is outrageous and you have to drive an hour to board one. then the fair is high too. So how is this going to change anything? It is not. A lot of people won't be able to use them because it cost too much, then it doesn't get put in every town etc. So way of the future not!

Walter G.
Walter G7 years ago

Additionally, occasionally a good train wreck breaks up the monotony of watching racing car ship boarding and piracy fatalities, hockey atrocities, crowd stampedes, air-liner crashes oil tanker or drill platform slicks, or missing persons reports (foul play suspected) from cruise ships during the evening news.

Walter G.
Walter G7 years ago

Absolutely! They are in use in more advanced countries in Europe and Asia, but as usual, we lag in development of modern technology. The issue of mortality and injuries in accidents will be raised, however we tolerate the occasional mishaps attributed to aircraft and ocean going craft.