An article that appeared today in The Wall Street Journal, “High-Speed Rail Stalls,” offers a candid assessment of the
challenges of delivering on the promise of high-speed rail (HSR) in the United States.
As the WSJ’s Jennifer Levitz reports, “Opposition from freight railroads is threatening the Obama administration’s multibillion-dollar push to make high-speed passenger trains an integral part of the U.S. transportation network. The standoff demonstrates the difficulties of introducing new passenger service to a rail network that is at least 90% owned by freight railroads and outfitted for slower trains.”
Developing HSR has been a top transportation priority for President Obama. The Northwest’s Cascadia Corridor is one of several key corridors to have been awarded stimulus funds to accelerate development. As Cascadia Prospectus reported early this year, the Northwest initially received almost $600 million for HSR. (The WSJ article today contains a helpful graphic comparing the corridors and where things stand.)
When the country is talking about building a new transportation alternative, it’s no surprise that the distance from concept to delivery is as great as it seems to be. Read it for yourself, but “High-Speed Rail Stalls,” offers a useful, well-reported contribution to the debate about one of many issues that have yet to be resolved.