Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Report on U.S. HSR offers options

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A report on U.S. high speed rail released Tuesday recaps why the nation has been slow to adopt HSR as a transportation option, classifies four waves of global HSR development, and offers options for U.S. pursuit of HSR in the 21st century.

"Why has America been slow in adopting fast passenger trains?" is co-authored by Andrew R. Goetz and Anthony Perl, the latter a Railway Age blogger, through the Intermodal Transportation Institute (ITI) and the National Center for Intermodal Transportation (NCIT), University of Denver.

The report can be accessed here.

Not surprisingly, a list of international HSR players as of July 2012 ranks the U.S. 8th overall, and 9th in terms of HSR miles in operation, with the Northeast Corridor supplying 225 miles. That total puts the U.S. behind South Korea (256 miles) and just ahead of Taiwan (214 miles), both much smaller nations. The U.S. also ranks 9th in terms of HSR mileage under construction (zero), behind Switzerland (45 miles).

With the study citing 559 miles of HSR being planned (in California), the U.S. ranks 8th in this category, credited with 784 miles of HSR in operation, under construction, or planned, behind No. 7 Italy (819 miles).

China tops the list in all categories, with 8,414 miles of HSR in operation, under construction, or planned, approaching the total of the next three nations combined (Spain, France, and Japan) with 8,917 miles in use or in development.