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High Speed Rail: Getting America Back on Track

On April 2009 President Obama announced his economic stimulus package that was to put the American economy back on the road to recovery. The plan included $8 billion for the development of high speed rail networks to service the busiest commuter routes in the country. In the intervening years that budgetary allowance has become less certain until finally Congress decided to eliminate it altogether in November 2012. While this is obviously a major setback to the plan it is by no means the end of the project. Currently there is a bullet train network being built in California linking Fresno and Bakersfield which is just the beginning of the developments nationwide. At first it might seem like high speed rail is something of a luxury toy for first world countries but the real rationale is actually much deeper. By creating reliable alternatives to air and road travel along the busiest travel routes high speed rail contributes to the reduction of congestion, reduces fuel consumption and carbon emissions and frees up resources like fuel and rolling stock for other forms of cargo. With all of the added time that now goes with air travel it can even be quicker to travel… read more »