Tuesday, April 03, 2007

French train blisters the tracks at 357.2 mph

Today a French high-speed train known as TGV set a world speed record for conventional trains of 357.2 miles per hour. That is quite impressive. In my view, trains at this kind of speed would be competitive with commuter aircraft for the types of routes that both transportation systems serve. It seems that high speed train systems would work economically in parts of the US, particularly the east coast and upper midwest. Why aren't these trains in use in the US?

A logical location for such a high-speed train would be from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. The highway distance between these two cities is approximately 300 miles. Place a couple of stops including one in downtown LA and a couple more out through Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties, and then you would have a straight shot to the Strip. Filling these trains with eager gamblers would be easy, and presumably security checks would not be quite as tight as at airports and you have a viable alternative to airlines.

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