Part of the lesson will come from recognizing what went wrong with past high speed rail programs that gave America the TurboTrain and Metroliner in the early 1970s and the Acela Express (pictured at left) since 2000. None of these trains have lived up to their design potential, and the reasons have to be understood if we are going to do better in the future.
Another lesson that will need to be learned is how to synchronize America's wildly successful freight railroad redemption from the near-death experience of the 1970s with the path toward high speed passenger rail that has been laid out by government.
The business model of America's private railroads has moved farther away from both technical and organizational compatibility with high-speed passenger rail. The sooner that rail professionals begin engaging these challenges, the more likely it will be that American ingenuity yields solutions that will enable the U.S. to move forward.
The White Paper can be found in its entirety here.