US Trains Fall Behind

Perhaps a better headline for this blog entry is “US Trains Fall Further behind.” I was just reading an article discussing a high-speed train developed in France for the Chinese market. This train goes 357.2 MPH and this is short of the 361 MPH a Japanese train has attained.
I believe high-speed trains are an essential (or at least very important) part of any country’s infrastructure and although Amtrak has the Acela train which can exceed 100 MPH, in reality the train averages less than this speed.
I wonder what it takes for the US to have trains that average over 200 MPH and while I am on the topic what would it take to have more tracks in the US allowing better access to the country. I am lucky enough to live near the high-speed trains between Boston and Washington DC… The rest of the country does not even have this luxury.
One wonders what defines the concept of most powerful country in the world. Is that what the US is? I would imagine whichever country wants to be the best from a productivity and efficiency standpoint will have the best air travel, road travel, train travel and broadband access.
In technology we often talk about how legacy technology can slow a country or company down. It seems the legacy infrastructure of the first phone networks, electrical networks, roads and trains are now slowing the rate at which the US can innovate.
Now the US has so many things going for it… I am not implying the rail system can cause us to crumple. The point I am making is that an improved rail system in combination with numerous other factors can contribute to increased productivity and efficiency which in turn leads to a better standard of living for all.
I hope the politicians and Amtrak read my thoughts and change the system for the better. As a country we are not perfect – no country is. But it does seem obvious that a domestic high-speed train initiative makes sense to explore and implement.

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