Sunday, November 7, 2010

$2.4 Bil for Latest Round of U.S. High Speed Rail - $2.4 Bil more than has ever been spent in Canada

About the only thing less impressive or convincing than the U.S. high-speed rail program program is Canada's.

Nevertheless, high speed rail in the U.S. does have a heartbeat, if barely detectable, and a new round of federal cash has been announced for numerous projects, as timid and modest as they may be.

Projects receiving funding in this round include Tampa-Orlando, Detroit-Chicago, Iowa, and California. This is in addition to $8+ billion awarded in January for projects including Seattle area, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.

These so-called high-speed trains will "attain" a high speed of either 169 or 220 mph at some point on their routes, which is far less ambitious than high-speed rail projects in Europe and Asia, which routinely maintain speeds of 200 mph or higher. To shed further light on North American rail competitiveness, consider that China is investing $50 Bil on its high-speed rail system this year alone and will pump $300 Bil into it before it is complete.

Ontario Teachers and Borealis Buy Only British High-Speed Link

In Canada, meanwhile, the official abbreviation for High Speed Rail continues to be L-O-L! Even if we do boast one of the world's leading industrial rail corporations in Bombardier and even if two Ontario pension funds did just buy High Speed One, the high-speed rail link between London and the Chunnel.

Looking at the U.S. high speed rail map, it looks like a sure bet that there will be high-speed service at several points into the U.S. before there is any high-speed between Canadian cities.

But don't expect me to take Stephen Harper's visionless government to task for the sorry state of Canada's passenger rail system, just because they would rather put money into prisons to accommodate perpetrators of unreported crimes. No, I'll leave that to the pros over at the High Speed Rail Canada blog.

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