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President Obama: Train Travel Is The Future

April 16, 2009

Even if some are still caught in the past  glory of gas guzzling cars, and ever more paved land with concrete the forward leaning thinkers know what the future holds for transportation.   It is trains…..and more trains.  Someday even WIBA will agree.

A high-speed rail corridor through the industrial Midwest – linking Toledo, Detroit, Chicago and more – is one of the potential recipients of billions of dollars in funding in federal grants announced this morning by President Barack Obama.

Speaking in Washington before departing on a trip to Mexico, Obama said the United States is putting itself at a competitive disadvantage by not embracing the potential of high-speed rail to link parts of the nation, saying France, China and other countries are already ahead of us. He pledged $8 billion in funds from the stimulus bill passed by Congress this year and another $1 billion a year for five years.

“I know Americans love their cars and no one’s talking about replacing the automobile,” said Obama. “But this is something that can be done.”

The White House replaced a plan for funding investment in high-speed rail, identifying 10 corridors which could receive federal funding. Among them are:

• A Chicago Hub network, which Obama called “something close to my heart” in reference to his adopted hometown, linking much of Midwest, including Toledo and Detroit with Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis, Kansas City, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Louisville, Ky.

• A California corridor, from Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay area to Los Angeles and San Diego.

• A southeast corridor, linking Washington, D.C., with Atlanta and Jacksonville, Fla., and other points along the way.

• A northern New England corridor, from Boston to Montreal but with links to Portland, Maine; New Haven, Conn., and elsewhere.

Other corridors include those designated in the Pacific Northwest; in the south central United States; along the Gulf Coast; through Florida; across Pennsylvania, and from New York City to Buffalo, N.Y.

There is also a chance the existing northeast corridor running from Washington, D.C., north to Boston could receive additional funding through the program.

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Obama said the idea is to get states and local communities to put together plans for networks of 100- to 600-mile-long corridors, which will compete for the federal dollars. The federal grants could begin going out as early as September.

Said Obama, in a prepared statement: “My high-speed rail proposal will lead to innovations that change the way we travel in America. We must start developing clean, energy-efficient transportation that will define our regions for centuries to come.”

He also said it could create thousands of construction jobs over many years.

“High-speed rail is long-overdue, and this plan lets American travelers know that they are not doomed to a future of long lines at the airports or jammed cars on the highways,” he said.

The first round of grants is expected to focus on projects that can be completed quickly, creating jobs quickly. Those programs might include improvements which would take lines where train speeds are already 70 miles per hour and increase them to more than 100 m.p.h. The following rounds of funding would then help fund proposals for comprehensive high-speed programs along the identified corridors.

7 Comments
  1. February 26, 2010 4:42 PM

    This is the Future of High Speed Rail and it is called the Airstream Train.
    It s faster then an Airplane and thus renders Airtravel as obsolete.
    It is safer then any of those in this Article.
    It is absolute 0 Emission, the only one.
    It is Cheaper to build then any other.
    And it is faster to build then any other.
    It offers Infrastructure Improvements.

    I dare anyone to prove me otherwise.

    http://www.zeroemissiontransportation.webs.com/

    The Airstream Train is the only Transportation that we ever need.
    Faster safer reliable and Ecologically Integrated.

    D. W. Major
    Inventor

  2. June 6, 2009 12:37 AM

    AHHA It is a good thing for me. Thanks. I like this. ^_^

  3. Patrick permalink
    April 19, 2009 10:25 PM

    Trains are stupid, at least here in wisconsin. Consider the proposed KRM line. Who would walk a mile to a job during wisconsin’s fall and winter months? Before we waste the money let’s see real figures on how much the taxpayers would have to spend to build, then subsidize forever, these worthless trains.

  4. April 18, 2009 11:57 AM

    I love trains, but they MUST be in public hands and the tickets reasonably priced. Regularly checked for safety. Also, have decent food and not bankrupt people if they buy a sandwich! The Brit’s should study france, germany, and the Netherlands, etc.– for cleanliness, time-keeping, and, general safety. when I was a kid, living in a rural part of Wales the trains were a real pleasure to travel on. I still mourne their loss, in our valleys. However, they must NEVER be in private hands, as now. We’ve seen the deaths, injuries, (and discomfort to boot). They MUST be Nationalised again. this lying, criminal regime talk about being “Green”, this is one thing that would help a LOT!

  5. April 18, 2009 11:31 AM

    TRAINS WERE ONE OF THE FIRST MECHANICAL MEANS OF TRANSPORT. IT WAS ALWAYS THE BEST WAY TO TRAVEL, THENEVER POSSIBLE–COMFORTABLE, SAFE (IF PUBLICLY OWNED) AND VERY ENJOYABLE AND RELAXING. WHAT CLOWN WAS ALLOWED TO BUTCHER THEM IN THIS COUNTRY. THEY ARE THE ANSWER TO SO MANY PROBLEMS–IF THE SYSTEM IS NATIONALISED!

  6. Marion permalink
    April 17, 2009 9:43 AM

    train travl is a nice idea and the high speeds, like in Europe, would definately be a green idea. I just loved the high speed trains in France. Only thing wrong with putting them in Northern states is the weather and the frozen ground and the frost heaves. freeze thaw, feeze thaw on roads leads to upheavels and I can’t think this would do high speed trains any good. I realize the train track beds have to be better than roads in construction but the cold does weird things to metal and rails and such.

  7. April 16, 2009 3:58 PM

    It is great to see Milwaukee on the list…

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