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High-speed rail in unlikely places

High-speed rail projects may be struggling in California and facing increased opposition in the UK, but they have gotten a boost in two unlikely countries. In Iceland, a country which currently has no working railways, a plan to build a high-speed rail line from Keflavík airport to downtown Reykjavík, using either conventional HSR or maglev technology, is being explored. Meanwhile in Australia, the conservative federal government has committed to safeguarding a corridor for a Melbourne-Canberra-Sydney-Brisbane high-speed rail network, a project commenced by the previous Labor minority government after pressure from the Greens. [more inside]
posted by acb on Dec 3, 2013 - 31 comments

I wanna be where you are

On a hazy February day in 2011, a special rainbow-colored train sped down the tracks to celebrate the newly-completed bullet train line spanning the island of Kyushu, Japan, and everybody came out to greet it.
posted by Sokka shot first on Aug 19, 2013 - 19 comments

All aboard!

By the creator of the California Rail Map, and inspired by ideas from various agencies and advocacy groups: A Map of the US High Speed Rail System
posted by Potomac Avenue on Feb 5, 2013 - 85 comments

San Francisco to Los Angeles in 2 hours and 38 minutes

Does California need the high-speed rail project? The New York Times published six opinion pieces debating the merits of the $90 billion high-speed rail plan that would connect Los Angeles to San Francisco. Streetsblog has a summary of the six opinions. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Jan 27, 2012 - 122 comments

This is a subject of but small importance; and I know not whether it will interest any readers, but it has interested me.

CN Turbo Train Part 2, part 3, 1970 Film‬. Canada Off the Rails: You know the story of the Avro Arrow, now discover how Canada fell from leader to laggard in another cutting edge, vastly profitable, globally relevant transportation industry, where Canadians had held a strong lead, until this Canadian homegrown industry was derailed; high-speed derailed... CN Turbo Train - "3:59" - The Lost Film (the high speed rail flickr pool is recommended viewing). [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Dec 14, 2011 - 17 comments

Melbourne to Brisbane in six hours

Australia's federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport has released an initial report into the prospects of building a high-speed rail link joining the eastern states. The report (which may be found here) lists a number of potential corridors joining Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane, and gives the total cost of building the system at AUD100bn. The resulting system would allow journeys between Melbourne and Sydney (currently the world's fourth busiest air route) in just under three hours, and Sydney and Brisbane in a further three. Tickets between Melbourne and Sydney would be priced at AUD99 to AUD197, with Sydney-Brisbane tickets being slightly cheaper. [more inside]
posted by acb on Aug 4, 2011 - 50 comments

American railways

High-speed railroading
America's system of rail freight is the world's best. High-speed passenger trains could ruin it [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 31, 2010 - 81 comments

Well since you don't want it any more, here you go.

"You have to put two and two together, and hopefully you come up with a high-speed rail project."
The St. Petersburg Times announced today that the state of Florida will receive funding for a high speed rail project, to be announced today by President Barack Obama in his Tampa visit. [more inside]
posted by toodleydoodley on Jan 27, 2010 - 86 comments

The state of high-speed rail, August 2009

The Guardian ran a series of articles looking at the state of high-speed rail travel today. France intends to double its length of track over the next decade, and China is planning a massive rail-building programme, including a high-speed line which will halve the travel time between Beijing and Shanghai to 4 hours. In Germany, domestic air travel is rapidly going extinct, and Spain's network has made day trips between Madrid and Barcelona a possibility. The USA, which has long neglected its rail network, is planning up to 10 high-speed lines. Meanwhile, Britain's only high-speed line goes to France, but there is talk of a 250mph line from London to Birmingham and beyond, possibly by the early 2020s. Meanwhile, the CEO of France's rail operator, SNCF, weighs in on what the UK should do.
posted by acb on Aug 7, 2009 - 49 comments

I don't want to go to there

While the world may be abuzz with talk of President Obama's first (sorta kinda but not really) State of the Union Address last night, others are comparing Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal -- who, in his response (part 1, part 2) scoffed at high-speed rail and suggested that monitoring volcanoes is somehow a bad thing -- to, um... well, just check it out for yourself. [more inside]
posted by hifiparasol on Feb 25, 2009 - 274 comments

Maglev Trains

The superconducting Magnetically-levitated Linear Motor Car is a most promising high speed transportation system in the 21st century. Mechanics and future benefits of Maglev trains.(video) [more]
posted by hama7 on Mar 2, 2003 - 21 comments

Davis signs $9.95 billion bond bill to boost high-speed rail

Davis signs $9.95 billion bond bill to boost high-speed rail
"Gov. Gray Davis signed a $9.95 billion bond measure Thursday that would clear the way for a high-speed rail system linking California's major cities."
this may be the first step in getting a decent rail-system going in the states. what do folks think about high-speed rail in general, do you think acela's recent problems are indicative of what we have to look forward to?
do those of you who have direct experience with existing high-speed rail systems have insights about the kind of obstacles this project might run into? will it revolutionize travel in the united states, or turn into a massive boondoggle?
posted by dolface on Sep 19, 2002 - 34 comments

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