posted on Apr, 20 2009 @ 07:27 PM
I could see the Chicago/Milwukee area receiving something like a high speed line. However, even though they are proposing a high speed line in
Chicago. The Metro Rail Transportation Authority already has 70mph limits over their trackage and over certain Union Pacific and B.N.S.F. trackage in
the area. Even though the average speed is down around 75 - 80mph, you can't blame it all on Amtrak though. One fault of the low average is due to
the infrastructure on the Northeast Corridor. Most of the infrastructure along the line dates back to when the Pennsylvania Railroad owned the line
between D.C. and New York City and the New York, New Haven, & Hartford owned the line from New York Central to Boston. However, if the Penn Central
would have improved conditions on the line and if Amtrak were to have made more improvements. The line would have a higher average speed today.
There is one distinct problem that I see with having several high speed lines in service here. That is, no freight railroad would be willing enough to
have to use trackage rights over one of these lines. On a passenger service only line, the freight movements take a back seat to the passenger trains.
On the freight lines, it is a completely different story. The reason why the Japanese's Shinkansen service has been so successful since its debut in
1964/65 is due to where their population centers are located. Population centers over here are farther apart than those in Japan. With the long
distances between population centers here in the U.S. It would be almost impossible to plan, build, and maintain a nationwide high speed network. For
a network like this to be built would take tens of billions, perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars, that we just don't have right now.