Monday, November 7, 2011

An open letter stating concerns with the current path of progress the Government is taking in pursuing high-speed rail.

Dear USHSR, I am curious why we would need to rebuild our existing train tracks to replace them with high-speed trains like Acela. I see that is runs on the same grade as the rest of Amtrak, and as a temporary push why couldn't the United States government pay an initial cost to replace the existing trains with new trains as a temporary fix and then use the generated revenue to build new tracks that would connect America's major cities that currently do not have access? From a political angle this might make sense for two reasons, 1. We would show Americans outside the already liberal Northeast how fast they really are, and 2. It would give undebatable proof that when given access Americans will use the train to go around the country when it is competitive, which Amtrak really isn't today. When I look at how AMTRAK is currently set up, it was designed to fail. Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Kentucky all have no access to their capital cities to AMTRAK. Las Vegas, Nashville, Green Bay, has no connection. No wonder Americans don't use AMTRAK as a primary way to travel on rail, it doesn't go where they want to go, and it doesn't get them to where it does go in a timely manner. The second problem is easy to fix, we have Acela approved by DOT (amazingly) and we need copies of that train to be used on the existing track. The increased revenue will give enough money to build more tracks to the cities I just mentioned which will bring in more revenue, and create more routes that will give people a way that is cost-competitive and, more importantly, time-competitive to get around America. I completely agree we need more tracks, but I don't understand why we are building them where we already have the tracks we need, like between Bakersfield and Fresno. It seems like a ploy from some lobbyists to slow down the process. Sincerely, Matthew Stidham

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