Skip to comments.Map Shows Where 220mph Trains Would Go in the U.S.
Posted on 03/04/2013 2:59:36 PM PST by MeganC
Whether a high-speed rail system ever gets built in the United States is still up in the air, but if it is, artist and activist Alfred Twu has figured out exactly where those speedy rail lines should go.
Twu started working on this map in 2009, when President Obama's plan to build high-speed rail was unveiled. "There were many such maps being made by various designers," says Twu, but since then he's updated the map with labels and put it on Facebook, and it struck a chord. It's gone viral.
"With the huge response it's generated, I created a petition to the White House to fund such a system," he told Mashable. After just a week, that White House petition already has 27,528 signatures.
Twu's not just guessing where those routes should be, either. "The routes are based on various studies by government agencies and advocacy groups," he explains.
We like the map's colors and its overall design, into which Twu put a lot of thought. "Some artistic license was applied to make it more elegant and have it be a series of distinct lines like a subway map," he says. "Colors were selected to convey the idea of the U.S. being made up of several interwoven regional cultures that come together at major cities like an internal melting pot."
Trains zipping across the continent at 220mph might sound like a far-fetched futuristic concept, but Twu thinks this project could be built out much like the Interstate Highway System was built in the 50s, he says. "I've seen 2030 and 2050 as potential dates from various advocacy groups," Twu added.
As you look at the map, you'll see that Twu included unshaded routes, which he says were "purposely left open to interpretation." He says the general idea of adding those routes would be that they would handle "lower-speed trains, as well as potential future high-speed routes."
But certainly there's not enough money to do something like this, given the economic situation in the United States at the moment, right? Tsu says cost estimates for a high-speed rail system like this range from $1-$2 trillion. Geez, that's a lot of money. He responded, "Sounds like a lot, but divided over four decades, that is around $25-$50 billion a year or 80-160 dollars a year per person. That's one tank's worth of gas money."
To get a closer look at the map, view or download this .PDF file.
What do you think, readers? Will this speedy rail system be going near your house? Should the United States catch up with the rest of the developed world and build the system, or should budget constraints keep us from spending money on this futuristic conveyance?
I doubt you'd see any buffaloes, but if they put one next to I-90, you could shoot a lot of prairie dogs.
Notice where the dark blue line starts in the south....hmmm
Just imagine the thrill of traveling at 220 MPH along when the next giant quake hits...
So now, already wayyy behind sched and over budget, and IIRC with the technical jobs going to out-of-state and out-of-country (think china) companies, we are now told that by 2022, the thriving California financial centers of Madera and Bakersfield will (about 120 mi apart) be the first places linked by the new bullet train.
Think of this. The once-Golden state is spiraling toward financial ruin, yet we are spending billions and billions to link Madera and Bakersfield, which happen to already be connected by a very nice freeway..
Now who would not want to pay (lots) more $$$, wait around in an icky train station (and do the security xray) to go to Madera (ugh) and not even have a car when you get there?
I have no plans to ever ride this hideous waste of my money. Further, I know lots and lots of liberals and progressives (hey, this is California), and I have yet to hear from even one that he or she looks forward to taking the bullet train.
So, when this electrified choo-choo finally takes to the rail, I expect no riders after the first few days of operation. There is no genuine demand for this service. None.
And, relating all of this to the topic of the thread, one hopes that the remainder of the 57 states can observe the bullet-train-induced, job killing, capital-draining financial wounding of California before wanting such a platinum-plated loser of their own.
(Just noticed the length of my post. Can you guess that I get a little wound-up about this topic?)
And TJ abd Juarez.
Sickening, isn’t it.
Of course he's going to say that. Some advocacy groups, wild dreamers like himself, have similar maps, and their websites do their best to come across as at least quasi-official..
But from what I've seen of the government maps, none seriously has a high speed rail line from Chicago to Los Angeles. That's not saying there might not be kooks and dreamers somewhere in the government, though ...
It’s Twu, it’s twu. I hope he didn’t spend twu much time on this since the route are just about a laydown the same as current Amtrak routes.
What the heck is mashup anyway?
They always talk about “High Speed” but when they get down to specifics we are talking about 80mph. In short spurts.
It’s Twu! It’s Twu!
Beat me by 2:06. I shouldn’t have taken the time to read through the other comments.
The first sections of the Interstate Highway System were built in rural parts of Missouri and Kansas and they linked rural communities with rural communities. No major cities of any kind benefited from these first sections of road.
And that was by design.
See, the US route system was supposed to provide for four-lane highways all over the USA but after the cities got their parkways built the politicians never quite got around to funding the rural sections that would link the cities.
To make sure that the rural sections of the Interstates got built the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 required that rural sections of highway were finished before the urban sections were finished. Otherwise the Interstate System would have just ended up as a series of regional super-highways linked by two-lane roads.
High speed rail systems that are being built with Federal money are required to use the same proven method to make sure that they get finished. Otherwise all that would be built would just be the urban sections and they’d never link up. This was the urban sections have an established rural section to immediately connect to when they eventually start service.
I’m not laughing.
I actually like our heavy rail here in Utah. I don’t know how the cost is justified but I ride it when I have to go to SLC. I ride it quite a bit in the summer with the kids cause I just hate driving.
Most people shy away from mass transit unless they have actually been to some place that mass transit is the best option. Yes, America is too large to bridge with a train that operates in the black.
We already have high speed trains...they are called airplanes.
Southwest leaves twice an hour to almost anywhere.
Ray LaHood? Zero chance. :)
Willie Green memorial ping.
Willie Green memorial ping.
Willie Green memorial ping.
Willie Green memorial ping.
Willie Green memorial ping.
High speed roads would offer much more utility, and would allow the freedom of movement that we Americans want.
Imagine, hopping in the car at 8 AM in Nashville, TN, and being 600 miles away, in Jacksonville, FL in 3 hours or so. While still having your car, and your sidearm if you choose to carry. And anything else you want to carry with you.
Thanks! Looks like fun around Cody, not too far to the north from here. Some of the winter temps this year were fun, eh (several nights around -30, F, at this elevation)? At least the spraying ice off of the nearby peaks wasn’t as deep as usual (dry). Drought’s pretty rough, though. We’re putting off livestock until at least next year (yaks—altitude, cold and ice depths make regular cattle costly). Hay’s too expensive and hard to get.
I have prairie dogs! Would you like to have some—maybe a few thousand of ‘em? ;-)
You would, of course, dig a tunnel under the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Starting from Sacramento end, you may be able to get away with only 60 miles underground. It also will be only twice as long as the Seikan Tunnel, which is currently the longest and the deepest railway tunnel in the world.
The cost of such undertaking will be trivial, since it's not your money. The Seikan Tunnel cost only US$3.6 billion in 1988 dollars. I'm sure the proposed map has more of such little details, and they can't increase the cost of this mammoth construction more than tenfold. Or a hundredfold. Who is counting among friends?
What does this sentence mean in English : "petition to the White House to fund such a system"?
It means when congress dies from laughter and refuses to act, and we've spent our last cent on the last 0bamaphone, we want 0 to act alone, issue an executive order minting another few platinum $1T coins to fund it.
Maybe they can even make the project pay for itself and it will not only cost nothing, but will solve California's debt problem, too!
I don’t think that’s going to bring him back, bring him back, bring him back, bring him back, back back
On short haul traffic, such as New York to Washington, the bus will get you from downtown to downtown in about 6 hours for $16 each way(check it out on Peter Pan’s website).
Metroliner and Acela are “better” mostly because you don’t have to ride with the riff-raff.
They are much more expensive, and this is not counting the huge subsidy, perhaps $32 per passenger. So you pay $70 for the train ticket and the taxpayer pays $32, when you could have taken the bus for $16.
Even if the economics of the northeast corridor justified investment in intercity rail (more than running regional train service over interconnected commuter rail systems), they would not justify expansion nationwide. This is because of urban sprawl.
The time savings in downtown to downtown service is a consideration to people who originate and are destined for downtown, as in the old cities of the northeast corridor. But, new cities sprawl, and even old cities sprawl at their edges (their “outer ring”). Once you arrive at the terminal of the intercity leg of the journey, it’s probable you will change modes of transportation, e.g., rent a car. So, an airport in the ‘burbs is likely to be just as conveniently located as a downtown rail terminal.
Having said all of the above, there was a time I thoroughly enjoyed commuting to DC from midtown Baltimore on a commuter train. I very much like flying in Chicago Midway and taking the El downtown. And I like, when I’m traveling, to take advantage of the mix of transportation options that cities have mostly inherited from the past. I don’t know why it costs something like a billion dollar a mile to extend conventional railroad lines, but at such cost, it’d be unrealistic to think we would any time soon embark on new construction.
Oh, about the New York to Chicago run, at the turn of the 19th into the 20th century, the New York Central initiated the 20th Century Limited (referring to not stopping at many intermediate stops). It left in the early evening, offered top notch dining car service, flew along the Central’s route at speeds in places of a hundred miles an hour, and got you into Chicago the next morning.
Assuming the speed of the 20th Century Limited could be doubled, we’d be talking of 8 hours. As compared to a 2 hour flight.
If spending another 6 hours on that trip is worth a trillion dollars to you, I’d say hang around the airport four hours and consider yourself rich.
no one would ride them once a terrorist blows up a rail
That’s the way Willie would do it, do it, do it, and do it .... until you were fed up with it.
Frankly I would much rather taxpayers funded the research of genious level engineers than pay for faster choo choo trains!
Spot on...spot on...spot on...
HSR works in Europe, Japan and China because they have small amounts of land and are very densely populated. So train service can be quite profitable there even with government subsidies.
Here it would be a White Elephant. Expensive to build and maintain and impractical as day to day transportation. It is an Obamaphile’s wet dream though.
Which is why it periodically rises from the dead even after a stake has been driven through it. I don’t think it will become a reality, certainly not in my lifetime. HSR is just a hi-tech toy train fantasy.
Not practical. If built, it won't be high speed, not along the CalTrain right of way. And it will be expensive. Lots of lawsuits, hearings, delays happening now with the changes due to electrification of CalTrain trains. Which was forced by liberal idiots (diesel was fine, generating electricity for the existing train engines). High speed rail is impossible on that corridor, just can't happen.
And you can’t run that at 200 mph. Moreover all the efforts of the current ‘bullet’ train in California have been environmentally rebuffed in the Bay Area. My statement stands
Perhaps a new way to find revenue???? A whole new version of a Disneyland ride.....
Catch up with the rest of the world?
Whoopie!All of Europe is what? The size of California?
This article had to have been written by a very young kid, or a sub-70 IQ type.
No prairie dogs where I live...Wisconsin. Don’t really want them, thank you very much. Oppossums arrived in my state in the late seventies, and they say armadillos will eventually make it this far north. But I don’t know why the prairie dog population does not make its way eastward from the Dakotas. Can’t swim across the Missouri?
Of course they are! Have you ever tried using strikes to disrupt freeway travel? It doesn’t work very well....
Wow! They moved Birmingham to Montgomery!
Probably a page out of the Agenda 21 playbook.
With all the prairie dog holes I see going out west, varmint hunters would have to shooting 24/7 for a decade to decrease the population substantially much less get rid of them completely. I expect to see the critters setting up their own tourist stop the next time the wife and I go out that way.
Why does Quincy, IL get a rail link?