July 14, 2016 – Constructiondive.com
Getting people from point A to point B as quickly and efficiently as possible is the basic goal of mass transit, and, generally speaking, faster is better. Much of the world, however, is far outpacing the United States in high-speed rail adoption.
In fact, according to a 2012 Congressional Research Service report on the status of high-speed rail in the U.S., there is only one rail line and one service that could be considered high-speed, Amtrak’s Acela train serving the Northeast Corridor from Washington to Boston. Although Acela trains, which carry approximately 3 million passengers per year, have the capability to reach speeds of 165 mph, they are typically authorized to operate for a few minutes on certain segments of their routes only up to speeds of 150 mph. That pales in comparison to, for example, China’s nationwide high-speed train network, which boasts a ridership of nearly 1 billion per year and features trains that can travel as fast as 300 mph.
But some states in the the U.S. are trying.