Posting in Cities
Funding fuels projects to whisk passengers from San Francisco to Anahiem, Orlando to Tampa, Chicago to St. Louis, and Minneapolis to Chicago.
The US federal government is providing $8 billion in grants -- coming from economic stimulus money -- to get things moving on the nation's first high-speed, intercity rail service between a number of major cities.
California will receive $2.25 billion, the largest amount for any state, in federal economic stimulus funds to develop a high-speed rail line running from Anaheim to San Francisco. Additional lines will also include a Midwest line from Chicago to St. Louis and one in Florida running from Tampa to Orlando. Trains will run up to 220 miles an hour.
According to a Los Angeles Times report, trains on the proposed Anaheim-to-San Francisco line, which is projected to ultimately cost about $42 billion, "would whisk passengers the 400 or so miles in no more than 2 hours, 40 minutes. The project would take a decade to complete, with extensions to San Diego and Sacramento planned."
Florida will receive $1.25 billion to help build a high-speed rail system from Orlando to Tampa and, eventually, to Miami.
A $1.1 billion grant will fund a high-speed corridor between Chicago and St. Louis, and eventually to Kansas City.
An $823 million award to link Minneapolis to Milwaukee and Chicago.
New York state will receive $151 million for a high-speed rail line from Niagara Falls to New York City.
- $600 million for Pacific Northwest rail, including bypasses to help the Amtrak Cascades achieve 150mph service
- $4 million for Texas, for grade crossing improvements in Austin and Fort Worth
- $17 million for Iowa, for BNSF crossovers
- $400 million for Ohio, specifically for the Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati corridor.
- $1.13 billion for Chicago-St. Louis-Kansas City
- $800 million for Minneapolis-Milwaukee-Chicago
- $244 million for Pontiac-Detroit-Chicago
- $620 million for Charlotte-Raleigh-Richmond-DC
- $1.25 billion for Florida
- $485 million for HSR in Northeast Region and $706 million for Amtrak stimulus funding, for a number of different corridors from DC to Maine to Montreal.
UPDATE: For further reference, Wired magazine has just published a nice summary of who, what, when, where and why as it regards high-speed rail in the United States.
Jan 28, 2010
Interstates are federally funded because they're intended for military transport. If it wasn't for that commitment they would never have happened. If the military made a similar commitment to rail, the problem would go away, virtually overnight.
Gee..after killing the railroads by permitting the trucking industry to destroy the freeways whilst paying a token towards repairs--knowing full well that the only transport cheaper than rail is by water (perhaps zeppelins could compete, but on stupid accident caused by a company using ROCKET FUEL! to paint their lighter-than-air craft, pretty much destroyed the industry before it got started,) now the government is going to give taxpayer money away to revive an industry that the government destroyed in the first place! If commercial highway users paid their actual costs of using the roads, rail would never have died, and we'd have had high=-speed rail from coast to coast back in the late '60's. Seems that large industries are always profiting off of the taxpayers. Of course, spreading huge amounts of money around a large number of states is a great way to guarantee that the Congress approves it--whether it makes sense or not!
For a fraction of this cost, the BART system in the Bay Area could be finished, with links to Silicon Valley, Livermore, Tracy and the Central Valley. It was supposed to ring the Bay and extend up the Peninsula but Santa Clara and San Mateo counties opted out way back when. Alameda County and other counties where BART has been running from day one are paying a sales tax premium that brings our local sales tax up to 9.75% with NO END IN SIGHT!!! ALL residents that do business here subsidize this system that carries thousands of people daily to work . . . how much do you expect will be extorted to pay for this boondoggle and where will the money come from to maintain it?? Put the money where it is MOST NEEDED, getting people from home to work everyday . . . this sure does NOT look anything like that!!!
Who will fund the maintenance of these pie-in-the-sky projects? More money down a rathole or will they be parked next to the Concordes? Interesting that these are all for people transportation because of the high value of time. But then, we have to get in our cars and wait two hours in traffic to get home from the train station. :|
I'm glad to hear that we're finally doing something about the sorry state of our trains (not to mention the sorry state of flying). Isn't it sad in how many areas we're forced to admit that Europe and Asia (etc) are kicking our ass? I want to see us back on top in healthcare, education, standard of living, happiness, longevity, infant mortality, science, etc, etc.
Yippidee-do we have taken the model of the "bridge to nowhere" and extrapolated it into an expensive train to nowhere. I know look at the map there is a starting place and an ending place. I live in Washington State and we have a great local rail system that starts in downtown Seattle and takes you to the airport, almost. It stops at least a quarter mile from the airport. Interestingly the airport was there befor the rail system and the airport did not move. Boy, I am sure impressed-not!Three questions at least fog this idea: 1. How do you get to the train? 2. How do you get from the destination station to where you really want to go? 3. And how much is it going to cost each passenger and maybe more importantly, how much is it going to cost each non-passenger to subsidise this? Oh yes where are these trains going to be built? Since Europe and Asia is so far in front of us in this I guess we will have to rely on them to build the trains and provide the jobs. Europe was also ahead of us with the SST, Supper Sonic Transport, but how many are flying now?